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Topic 101 of 108: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans

Thu, Sep 1, 2005 (07:54) | Paul Terry Walhus (terry)
from cnn.com

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- The first of New Orleans' evacuees began arriving in Texas early Thursday as the Gulf Coast struggled to cope with what President Bush called "one of the worst natural disasters in our nation's history."

Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath damaged beyond repair tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the region and left more than 78,000 people in emergency shelters, the president said.

Bush on Wednesday announced a massive federal mobilization to help victims, warning that "the challenges that we face on the ground are unprecedented." (See video of Bush's speech -- 9:23)

"This recovery will take years," Bush said in an address from the White House Rose Garden, hours after viewing parts of the Gulf Coast from aboard Air Force One. (Bush: 'Devastating sights')

The Bush administration earlier in the day declared a public health emergency for the entire Gulf Coast in an effort to stop the spread of disease in the storm's wake. (Health risks)

"We are gravely concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid and dehydrating diseases," Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. (See video on health concerns -- 2:18)

'Renegade bus'
Buses carrying evacuees from New Orleans began arriving at Houston's Astrodome overnight as Louisiana officials began clearing out the hurricane-ravaged Superdome. (Full story)

The first bus -- an Orleans Parish school bus -- pulled up to the gates of the Astrodome about 10:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. EDT) Wednesday, surprising authorities who were not expecting anyone for several more hours.

Organizers later declared it a "renegade bus," saying it was carrying people fleeing the floodwaters in New Orleans but was not part of the official caravan of commercial buses traveling from the Superdome.

The Astrodome will provide evacuees many comforts the Superdome lacked after Hurricane Katrina ripped off parts of the roof, and knocked out electricity and water on Monday. (See a report on refugees being evacuated -- 2:00)

People staying there will have cots to sleep on, be able to take showers, have a hot meal and be able to make phone calls. About 20,000 people are expected to be transferred from New Orleans to Houston -- a trip of about 330 miles.

It was not immediately clear how the 50 people on board the renegade transportation came into possession of the bus, but officials in the Astrodome said they would be allowed to stay. A 20-year-old man was behind the wheel.

New Orleans residents were warned to expect a prolonged displacement.

"I surmise there are people in New Orleans who won't be able to get back to their homes for months, if ever," said Michael Brown, the Federal Emergency Management Agency chief who is leading the federal response on the ground.

N.O. mayor: Thousands likely dead
Meanwhile, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reportedly said Wednesday that the storm probably killed thousands of people in his battered and flood-stricken city.

"We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water," and others dead in attics, The Associated Press quoted Nagin as saying. When asked how many, he reportedly said: "Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands."

Nagin and other Louisiana officials had refused to give a casualty count in the past, saying emergency workers were focusing on the rescue effort.

Rescue workers continued to push bodies aside Wednesday as they used boats and helicopters to search for survivors. Their efforts have been hampered by lawlessness and damaged infrastructure.

Electricity was out for more than 2.3 million people in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.

Meanwhile, Katrina's effect on oil supplies and gas prices spread nationwide, prompting the White House to tap the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

News of disruptions in the gas supply sparked runs on stations and a sharp spike in prices, with some drivers in Atlanta, Georgia, facing prices above $5 a gallon. (Economic impact)

Pentagon officials said Wednesday the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi have ordered the mobilization of an additional 10,000 National Guard troops to provide security and help with hurricane relief. (See video on Pentagon response -- 2:14)

Lawless streets
Widespread looting of New Orleans businesses continued Wednesday, punctuated by the sounds of gunfire. (Harrowing tales)

Nagin ordered most of the city's police to halt their rescue efforts and concentrate instead on stopping looters who have grown more aggressive, the AP reported.

Some of the looting was taking place in front of police, with little response. Along Canal Street, the city's main thoroughfare, police allowed people to take shoes out of stores as long as the shoes fit.

At least seven hospitals in the city were evacuating patients and personnel because of flooding and a frightening breakdown in public order.

Doctors said two patients died Wednesday at Charity Hospital as a result of the lack of electricity and water.

The head of Acadian Ambulance Service, Richard Zuschlag, said his workers had been victimized by the mayhem sweeping the city as they worked to evacuate hospitals. (Full story)

"Things are not good in New Orleans. It's very serious now," Zuschlag said.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she was "just furious" about the lawlessness.

"We'll do what it takes to bring law and order to our region," she said at a news conference.

Law enforcement officials expressed frustration with their inability to communicate.

"The communication systems throughout the entire Gulf Coast are severely compromised," said Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was planning to use helicopters to begin dropping 15,000-pound sandbags into breaches in the city's levee system -- the first step in trying to control the flooding that submerged most of the city. (See video on levee repairs -- 3:53)

The flow of water into New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain finally abated, and the lake level began dropping gradually, Corps officials said. But engineers won't begin trying to pump out the water until the breaches are plugged. (Recovery efforts)

Across Lake Pontchartrain, in Slidell, Louisiana, Mayor Ben Morris was among thousands of homeless residents who have been unable to communicate with anyone outside Slidell.

Morris estimated 90 percent of the city's residences were destroyed or damaged and that half of its 30,000 residents will be left homeless.

Mississippi death toll rising
The breadth of the brutality of Hurricane Katrina became clearer Wednesday as more death toll figures began to filter in from Mississippi's coastal region.

Authorities said at least 185 people died in Monday's Category 4 storm.

In Hancock County alone, Sheriff Eddie Jennings put the death toll at 85, with 60 people dead in Pearlington, 22 in Waveland, two in Bay St. Louis and one body that had washed up on the beach.

In neighboring Harrison County, which is home to Gulfport and Biloxi, authorities reported 100 bodies had been found, an emergency official in the state capital, Jackson, told CNN.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said crews had been unable to reach half of the community. (See video of corpse recoveries -- 3:05)

"It may take several days and maybe even weeks to get to because we're talking about major buildings ... collapsing and just what we call 'pancaking,' " he said at a news conference.

Meanwhile, the 3,000 members of the Mississippi National Guard activated after the storm are literally "using chainsaws to cut their way in to the coast," said Brad Mayo, public information officer for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

That's because of the huge amount of fallen trees in what's called the "pine belt" of the state, which cuts a huge swath across Mississippi north of the coastal counties.

In the hardest-hit areas in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties, emergency officials are setting up MASH-style hospitals in tents and portable structures to try to help those injured or rescued.

Mayo said the state is asking for doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians from neighboring states for their help.

Katrina left Biloxi's Keesler Air Force Base -- home to the U.S. Air Force fleet of hurricane-hunter aircraft -- 95 percent "smashed," an Air Force official at the base said Wednesday.


118 responses total.

 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 1 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (10:48) * 3 lines 
 
Watched Nightline (among other news shows) last night and Ted Koppel really laid into the Director of FEMA, as well he should have.

I've emailed a Drooler from N.O., who hasn't logged in since last Friday, and I'm hoping she's well away from the area and just without internet. She has a son in Northern California, so maybe she is there and will be able to get email. I'll let you know if/when I hear from her.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 2 of 118: Mari Fulginiti  (mari) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (12:16) * 1 lines 
 
I watched Ted Koppel also, Karen and he was right on, asking the tough questions. Anderson Cooper and Aaron Brown on CNN have been good also. The federal government has completely let the people down. A disgrace. Most of the money and resources have gone to Iraq. Wake Up, America!


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 3 of 118: SueH  (pianoblues) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (12:25) * 3 lines 
 
Here in the UK Ive been watching various news reports of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, my heart goes out to all those people affected by such a ferocious natural disaster.

Sending my thoughts and sincerely hope the Drool Lady is safe.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 4 of 118: LisaJH  (LisaJH) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (12:40) * 1 lines 
 
Mari, I couldn't agree with you more.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 5 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (13:03) * 8 lines 
 
It's a total disgrace the way the Fed govt has responded. Yeah, now that Bush is there, you see miles' long convoys ready to pick up people. But the images yesterday were horrific and the reporters on the scene were genuinely shaken by what they saw inside the convention center.

I was watching as Bush was briefed by the FEMA chief in Mobile this a.m. Dumbest look I've ever seen on a human being's face during the "staged" briefing and "staged" accolades by the Alabama governor ("FEMA has done everything we've asked for.") Pathetic.

New Orleans was one of my favorite cities. :-(





 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 6 of 118: linda kemmerer  (lindak) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (14:17) * 3 lines 
 
Most charities are taking or will be ready to take clothing donations in the next week or so.

This is the time of year most people get rid of clothing while changing over closets. Instead of the usual hand-me-down recycle routes-Please consider sending anything you can to the various agencies involved in the relief effort.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 7 of 118: Allison M  (Allison2) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (15:08) * 1 lines 
 
Terrible news from NO. Have spent many happy times there. Our great friends are safely in N.Ca but their families have lived in N O for generations and there is probably nothing to go back to. The question in my mind is, did the governor of LA or the mayor of N O request help from the Federal government? Much as I dislike Bush, surely it is the role of the State to to assess the risk and ask for relevant help. Or have I lost the plot?


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 8 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (17:02) * 5 lines 
 
(Mari) A disgrace. Most of the money and resources have gone to Iraq. Wake Up, America!
Can't agree more or say it any better.
How about that federal govt cutting the money to the Army Corps of Engineers to shore up the levees. *shaking head*

Ok, and are there topic rules here, too?


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 9 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (17:05) * 8 lines 
 
Sorry, just realized I didn't read all the posts before..

(Karen) I was watching as Bush was briefed by the FEMA chief in Mobile this a.m. Dumbest look I've ever seen on a human being's face during the "staged" briefing and "staged" accolades by the Alabama governor ("FEMA has done everything we've asked for.") Pathetic.
Can you get *over* that?!! I happened to stop by a TV at work right at that moment. Was it obvious that he...
1. Had no clue what they were talking about, and
2. Obviously didn't care too much.

It was a disgraceful sight. Glad Bush could stop by, oh....4 or 5 days later.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 10 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (17:50) * 8 lines 
 
(Allison) did the governor of LA or the mayor of N O request help from the Federal government?
I can't imagine that the governor did not do so immediately. It is practically de rigeur. As soon as the levees were breached, this turned into a federal emergency and there isn't an emergency preparedness official anywhere who wouldn't know it.

The Fed govt's ridiculously delayed response isn't due to any bureaucratic procedural nonsense, e.g., the governor didn't ask for help.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've heard from Gail and she and her family are fine. She left on Sunday and her husband stayed until after the hurricane hit. She sent me a link to a slideshow of pics taken around the Garden District by a neighbor's daughter immediately after the hurricane so you see the basic damage, boarded up homes, etc. She captioned the pics and said that once she heard about the levees, she hightailed it out of town. I'm going to ask Gail if it is OK to post the link.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 11 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (18:14) * 3 lines 
 
More on Allison's question -

Last night on Nightline, Ted Koppel asked the FEMA director about the people in the convention center. There was one question about the number and how FEMA's estimate was way low. Then the FEMA guy said they had to wait for "official" verification to come in that there were, in fact, people at the convention center, as they couldn't take anyone's word for it. Koppel said, "Don't you people have televisions?"


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 12 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (18:29) * 1 lines 
 
I just saw on CNN that the Governor called Bush on Wednesday to complain that there wasn't any evidence of Federal help anywhere.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 13 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (18:30) * 1 lines 
 
And the President himself declared a state of emergency even before Katrina hit (on Sunday) to allow all the federal agencies to start the wheels moving.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 14 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (18:35) * 2 lines 
 
"Don't you people have televisions?"
Would be ROTFLMAO if it wasn't so sad and ironic.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 15 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (21:38) * 14 lines 
 
The pathetic one is Louisanna's Governor Kathleen Blanco.

On the Larry King show on Tuesday she was v. reassuring that everything was under control.

Contrasted with her press conference and on GMA on Wed.when she became teary and said "This thing is totally overwhelming".
Is this leadership?

Biloxi, and Alabama sought to tackle the security problem first.Miss. Governor said he would deal ruthlessly and agressively with looters.

I hate to be hard on my sex, but she is an embarassment.

Agree though that someone should have taken her by the hand and given her some guidance. FEMA, anybody.

On Wednesday, she did ask for a day of prayer, though.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 16 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (21:44) * 7 lines 
 
Forgot to add that our small town got 50 refugees today.
They are sleeping in armory.
They'll be taken care of by the churches.

The next town is getting 100. Going to YMCA. Tulsa getting 1000.
Houston is saturated.Salvation Army is coordinating the placement.
But where is Atlanta?


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 17 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Fri, Sep  2, 2005 (23:04) * 7 lines 
 
Governor said he would deal ruthlessly and agressively with looters.
How's he going to find them?

On the one bit of CNN I've watched, saw a NO cop say that 1/3 of the police force skipped out of town before the storm hit and apparently didn't come back. At least that's what I got from the less than reliable closed captioning on gym TV.

Someone at work today suggested a cruise ship would be helpful to evacuate and house people. I expressed skepticism that they would choose to lose the money to do so. They must be all booked. I thought it was a great idea though.
Saw some airlines are "donating" time and planes to evacuate people. They wanted govt to reimburse them, but FEMA said they'd pay only for gas. Time is volunteer.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 18 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (00:41) * 30 lines 
 
To add to questions/concerns by Allison and Karen's comments re: timing of asking for help, here's fairly concrete evidence of what was requested by whom and when.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/2/22509/76629
There's a PDF of the formal request for help from LA.

Also, to point out a few comments below the story in case you don't want to read them all...
----------------------------------------
Um, Bush declared LA and MI disaster areas (4.00 / 4)
more than a on Saturday, a day and a half before the hurricane hit.
"The president's emergency declaration authorizes the FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and to provide appropriate assistance in a number of Louisiana parishes, or counties."

that from here:
http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/breaking_news/12494800.htm

And here is Bush's Official Statement... (4.00 / 2)

"These declarations will allow federal agencies to coordinate all disaster relief efforts with state and local officials. We will do everything in our power to help the people in the communities affected by this storm."

from: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050828-1.html
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Yes this is the paperwork that people think (none / 1)
was not filed. Apparently it was.
I had a long discussion with a good friend who is in government today and she was under the impression that the paperwork was not filed.
The paperwork was filed....
-----------------------------------------

and it points out (4.00 / 2)

what they clearly asked for in terms of coordination, supplies and security because of the expected devastation.
They can't pretend they didn't know, they can't pretend it wasn't their job. This is black and white proof.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 19 of 118: linda kemmerer  (lindak) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (08:28) * 9 lines 
 
I was shocked, along with my husband, on Sunday morning when the mayor of NO said the evacuation was still voluntary. Blanco, on split screen, asked him if he had heard the same things about the storm and the area already declared a Federal disaster area. She told him he needed to get the people out, now!

Where were the local and state civil defense people that also mobilize when a federal disaster is declared? Don't they have montly meetings like the rest of the country for worst case scenario evacuations?

God bless the people of Houston, OK, and everplace else that has stepped forward to help.






 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 20 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (09:29) * 12 lines 
 
Thanks, Linda, for documentation and comments. It's amazing to me that they're trying to put such a ridiculous spin on things (i.e., no one asked us for help) and that anybody is buying it. I suppose someone will point out that in that four-page document, she doesn't specifically ask for food, water or the military. Yet the language is quite clear that the state is asking FEMA to take over.

(Dorine) a NO cop say that 1/3 of the police force skipped out of town before the storm hit and apparently didn't come back.
Yeah, I saw that too. Probably the governor's fault too for not saying that deserters will be shot.

There was a nice piece on a little town west of NO named Houma that had taken in 1000 refugees and was doing it all with volunteer support. Showed the people bringing in clothing, the school admins planning how to incorporate the children, etc.

I think I caught Trent Lott in a half-truth last night, while being interviewed by Anderson Cooper. He was asked whether it had been a mistake not to fund the Army Corps of Engineers' projects. He said it was the Washington Post's fault. Excuse me? When did the Washington Post vote in Congress? Which party has been in control of Congress and been against public expenditures for the public good? Gotta cut back that nonessential govt spending.

I'm getting rather sick and tired of the pat answer about why it took so long to get the military on site: these people are civilians are had to come from home. Does no one recall that if we were not conducting a war, there would be active-duty, full-time military and reservists who are not sitting at home watching TV and could've been there nearly immediately? There are tons of military bases in that area too!

Such misplaced priorities. An administration that excele in spin but not substance. :-(


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 21 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (10:34) * 26 lines 
 
Where would NYC have been w/o Mayor Guiliani and Gov. Pataki?
Rudy held the city together ..giving them assurances and comfort.
Local gov't officials get the ball rolling.

The Mayor of NO holed himself up in the Hyatt and never set foot in the Super Dome.

There is enough blame to go around to everyone in the local, state and fed gov't.

But reading the posts here last night all I read was that it was the fault of one person.

My state is no stranger to natural calamaties and bombings.
The mayor and gov. are the first on the scene.
In my town when the tornado sirens sound, police drive up and down the streets alerting people to take cover. We have no tornado shelter...but the people who live in trailers or fragile houses can go to the high school.

We just don't call on Wash. DC!

On a different note, our governor is asking small communities to take in the refugees that can't be housed in Houston, Dallas or San Antonio.

Sports arenas are not equipped to house people he said ...and they want to just house them 100 in one place.

BTW call you local official and ask them what plan they have to evacuate an entire city and house them.
You'll be surprised.






 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 22 of 118: Gail  (Gails) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (12:33) * 6 lines 
 
My heart goes out to the people who are suffering from Katrina, my family and I'm sure many other are trying to do as much as individual citizens can through donations to the Red Cross and other local agencies trying to get supplies to the region.

There seems to be a lot of anger toward the Federal gov't. and FEMA and I too have to scratch my head and wonder what took so long. However, the real issue that needs to be addressed is where over the past 3 or 4 decades has the leadership in the state of Louisana been. If I am remembering what I have read correctly the levee system was built 75 - 80 years ago. They were built to withstand a level 2 or 3 storm. Engineering techniques and building technologies have changed, IMO, the elected officials from the state let their constituency down. They needed to push harder to get what was needed for the safety of the people of the state. What has happened in NO was not a surprize to local & state officials, they knew it was only a matter of time. They also knew that about 1/3 of the population of NO would not voluntarily leave the city in the event of a major storm, yet they didn't make it mandatory until about 36 hours before the storm hit and they had no tranportation available to help people who had n
way out.

If you go to the various state web sites, both AL & MS have info about Katrina and what should be done, LA has nothing -- you would think it was three weeks ago and not a storm was in sight.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 23 of 118: Mari Fulginiti  (mari) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (12:46) * 7 lines 
 
There was a Congressman from Mississippi on last night, Republican, don't recall his name. Asked about the bureaucratic i dotting and t crossing, he said it was shameful for any government offical to try to hide behind that excuse. This guy has seen his share of hurricanes, floods, etc., and said that if you really want to help someone, you tell them specifically what they need to do to ask for help.

I'm not trying to assign sole blame to the President. Clearly there are problems across the board. But I do expect the federal government--no matter which party is in charge--to have an emergency-preparedness plan that can be implemented at the first hint of trouble. Not 3 days after the fact. That's what feds are supposed to do--mobilize vast numbers of troops and material swiftly--in a way that local governments cannot do. I do expect FEMA to take the initiative as it has done in years past--before it was recently swallowed up by the morass that is Homeland Security. I expect the FEMA head to know more than the casual viewer of network news who had been told since early in the week that a crisis was brewing at the convention center and Superdome. I expect more sense out of the head of Homeland Security than a statement blaming the people of NO for not evacuating--desperately poor people with no cars and little money to pay for a hotel even if they could get out and find one.

I do expect the President to be on top of things--and not say, as he did on Thursday, "who knew that the levees wouldn't hold" when in fact the Army Corps of Engineers had been begging for funding for years to shore up those levees--funding that Bush cut by more than 20% over the past 2 years. And BTW, shame on any past administrations--whether it's Clinton, Bush, or whomever--for similarly ignoring the situation.

This country is stretched desperately thin. Most of our troops are overseas and will be for a long time. Public safety programs have been severely slashed--who is going to have the balls to step up to the plate and say, no more tax cuts, and in fact we all need to pitch in and pay more. I got more in "tax relief" over the past few years than the average person in NO made. That is just plain wrong.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 24 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (13:03) * 7 lines 
 
(Gail) If I am remembering what I have read correctly the levee system was built 75 - 80 years ago.
All that is part of the crumbling infrastructure that no one in the Federal government will address. I'm sure I've seen several cover stories in Time magazine about the state of our infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams (and levees), etc. States can and have begged for federal money. No one has ignored it. The government hasn't funded the necessary improvements.

(Evelyn) My state is no stranger to natural calamaties and bombings.
Neither is NO. They've been hit by many hurricanes in the past. But there's a huge difference in the population (actual numbers and density) between your entire state and the region affected here. Oklahoma may have once been a dust bowl, but it isn't below sea level, which gave it a unique set of circumstances. When an area is flattened, as say Biloxi and Gulfport were, you bring in the bulldozers and haul it away. When a city is under water, no city, state or municipal government has the resources to deal with it alone.

The governor's letter clearly states their limitations and their 2005 FEMA-approved plans. FEMA would/should know NO's unique needs. That's its job.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 25 of 118: Jenf  (frostygirl) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (13:30) * 1 lines 
 
Been watching many reports on the TV today over here and just want to say how sorry I am to see such heartache and destruction over there. I hope and pray that help is at hand soon to help everyone caught up in hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 26 of 118: Gail  (Gails) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (14:53) * 3 lines 
 
(Karen)All that is part of the crumbling infrastructure that no one in the Federal government will address

We are probably coming to the same point of frustration but from different directions. I am not usually so cynical, but we are not dealing with "vestal virgins" in our state and federal legislatures, these people regardless of party affiliation know how to get a deal done and attach the little extras that are going to add something to their districts, keep a major contributor happy, or ensure their re-election. The point I was trying to make is making sure the levees would hold realy didn't matter. The elected officials from Louisana allowed themselves and the citizens to live on borrowed time and didn't push it hard enough. Probably because there was something more important like studying fire ants or seeing why moths are attracted to light. I read somthing awhile back about there being something like 35 billion dollars in pork spending in the US. Somebody from NO should have figured a way to get a slice of that.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 27 of 118: Wolf  (wolf) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (16:06) * 7 lines 
 
no offense to anyone here, we are all entitled to our opinions...

it sounds like everyone (media, friends and neighbors) is trying to point blame and that is part of the natural grieving process....and we are all benefiting form hindsight--this should have been done and so should this, etc., etc.

personally, i'm sick and tired of hearing all of that and just want to see things happening. a lot of people are afraid to leave their homes no matter what threats are made to them. they are secure there and they have no means by which to do anything otherwise. we know that.

the best way we can help is to donate to the red cross and to our local charities who are housing the evacuees. it will be a long time before they go home and those organizations are going to need all the help they can get. so let's forget our differences and take care of people the way we, Americans, know how to.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 28 of 118: felicity beaver  (felicityb) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (16:10) * 11 lines 
 
I wouldn't dream of entering into a political discussion on this,but I second what Jenny said.

The scale of the destruction was graphically described on Breakfast TV this morning as being equivalent to the whole of the South Coast of England being affected. Made me think.

What's so frightening to me is the depiction we're getting in the UK of America(excuse the Englishism)as a Third World country. We've got the Red Cross spokesman and a list of countries sending aid that included Venezuela. Looting,shooting and squalor(I'm quoting).

Just as, if not more, shocking than a terrorist attack. Truly awful for everyone.

Bush is getting it in the neck over here,like he'd care. He's going to have to declare war on meteorologists(but they got it right) so that leaves God.




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 29 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (16:39) * 6 lines 
 
(Gail)yet they didn't make it mandatory until about 36 hours before the storm hit and they had no tranportation available to help people who had n
way out.



School buses in a flooded parking lot in NO on Thursday.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050901/480/flpc21109012015


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 30 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (16:43) * 3 lines 
 
Felicity, President Bush declared NO a state of emergency last Sunday.
There are lots of people to blame .



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 31 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (19:19) * 0 lines 
 


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 32 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (19:19) * 11 lines 
 
There is such a thing as accountability. I choose not to let what happened stay in the past. Unfortunately, there isn't a Harry "the buck stops here" Truman in the White House. :-(

Just saw a professor at LSU on CNN. This guy sounded Australian, so he would not likely have any inherent biases. He refuted the claims that the federal government and FEMA had no knowledge of the extent of the potential problems. He said that just last year he held a simulation of the bowl filling up with FEMA, the White House, military and the Army Corps of Engineeers in attendance. He projected the lawlessness and the fires and that approximately 30% of the population (or 300,000) would remain. He said they begged FEMA to preposition supplies for evacuees on the perimeter and a FEMA person sarcastically told him that "Americans don't live in tents."

He said not to look within Louisiana for the fault. They've been trying to deal with it since 1999.

This guy has credibility and there's a real paper trail here.

**********

Gail: Pork will always be a problem. It's a fact of life. For the most part, people vote on the basis of what their congressman will bring home and not in the national interest. :-(


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 33 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (20:05) * 3 lines 
 
I saw that guy on CNN interviewed by Rita Cosby.
He said not to look within Louisiana for the fault.
Yeah, yeah....A professor at LSU...employed by the state.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 34 of 118: Peggy Hays  (slpeg2003) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (20:29) * 16 lines 
 
After the horror unfolding in LA, MS, and AL this week, I think there is enough blame to spread around to all political entities.

Gail, I am glad you and your family are safe. Luckily, all of our family and business friends were able to evacuate. No word on DH's company office there yet.
I love New Orleans and the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines and hope they can recover as quickly as possible (I'll be at the front of the line to pay N.O. a visit), though I do know that it will take years and it will not ever be just as it was.

Meanwhile, here in Houston there are estimates of 100K-200K displaced people, some who evacuated early-20,000 in my county. Everyone is pulling together to help out anyway possible. All conventions for Houston have been cancelled for the Fall (LOL with the mayor daring the Convention groups to sue the city!)

There is also a realistic concern that the displaced cannot remain for long on cots in stadiums and convention centers. More reasonable housing options and finding jobs for the displaced has become a necessity. Even here within spitting distance of one of the nations best medical centers, evacuees have died upon arrival and hospitals are now filled. Regardless of federal help, a great emotional and fiscal strain is upon us.

A couple of days ago, I ran across this series of articles done in 2002 by the Times-Picayune and found them to be eerily prophetic.

http://www.nola.com/washingaway/

I arrived in N.O. a few years back immediately after it had dodged another storm (maybe it was Frances) and my group, many of whom had grown up there, had big discussions about the 'big one'- just like *we* did while living in San Francisco. I don't know if it is possible to be truly prepared for such devastation.




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 35 of 118: Wolf  (wolf) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (21:13) * 1 lines 
 
temporary housing--something on the news was said about builing trailer parks to house those displaced.....didn't catch the when and where of it. anyone else hear that?


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 36 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (21:38) * 5 lines 
 
Like Florida with all the hurricanes hitting the same place last year....I read an article in....NYT? One of the FLorida papers?....that many of those people living in the temporary housing of trailers sitting in parking lots (makeshift trailer parks) are *still* there. I think I read some? all? many? don't have air conditioning. Must go back and find that article. Florida Droolers...have you heard about this?

I haven't heard about trailers for the newly displaced. Am actually trying not to watch much if any. At my aunt's, can't avoid it as she has it on non-stop....except when we watched some of the Penn State game.




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 37 of 118: Lucie  (alyeska) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (21:55) * 3 lines 
 
Last year Fema brought in hundreds of park modle mobile homes for people around here who had nowhere to go.They parked them in mobile home parks and vacant lots. Some of them are still there because we can't get anyone to work on the damaged houses. There is so much developement going on that the workers are working there and don't want to be bothered with the small stuff.

I hope they have better luck around the gulf coast than we've had here.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 38 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (22:11) * 18 lines 
 
(Evelyn) Yeah, yeah....A professor at LSU...employed by the state.
I can't believe you are dismissing this guy, who happens to be the Deputy Director, LSU Hurricane Center, and Director, Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes.

This was written three years ago:

http://hurricane.lsu.edu/_in_the_news/april21_advocate.htm

and talks about the simulations they've run and who would be involved.

More about where they stood at the end of last year's hurricane season, which is likely the meeting he related on TV:

http://www5.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-12/lsu-ats121604.php

This doesn't look too shabby:

http://hurricane.lsu.edu/

http://www.publichealth.hurricane.lsu.edu/


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 39 of 118: Peggy Hays  (slpeg2003) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (22:56) * 17 lines 
 
(Dorine)we watched some of the Penn State game
LOL.. glad you had a little respite, and they won!

I did hear earlier in the week that the mobile home industry was in the doldrums and this would give it a boost. They are the most logical "quick fix"
for housing but where do you put all of them? I know of many areas where small family farms are being divided up for 'mobile home lots'.

(Lucie) Some of them are still there because we can't get anyone to work on the damaged houses. There is so much developement going on that the workers are working there and don't want to be bothered with the small stuff.

That's terrible, there will be so many people unemployed down here that I hope they will be willing to work at repairs, too. Most of the new development is on the north shore. But, if it takes 80+ days to drain New Orleans' flooded areas(some of which is low-income housing), much will not be salvageable after being submerged so long:-(

Just heard on my local news that FEMA is chartering 3 Carnival cruise ships to house refugees to be docked at different Gulf ports.
I heard the NO police chief ask for one to use as a staging area.

Has anybody heard more about the Naval hospital ship and aircraft carrier that were dispatched from VA Tues. or Wed. and their estimated arrival? I fear they will be too late, too.
Ummm... many coast guard helicopter missions were flown out of Houston's Ellington Field which congress decided to close last month because it had no strategic importance:-(

OT William Renquist died tonight:-(


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 40 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (23:16) * 2 lines 
 
(Peggy) Has anybody heard more about the Naval hospital ship and aircraft carrier that were dispatched from VA Tues. or Wed. and their estimated arrival?
Thursday.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 41 of 118: Peggy Hays  (slpeg2003) * Sat, Sep  3, 2005 (23:33) * 5 lines 
 
(Karen) Thursday.

Iknewwhen it was announced that it would be too long to do much good:-(




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 42 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (01:38) * 16 lines 
 
(Peggy) Has anybody heard more about the Naval hospital ship and aircraft carrier that were dispatched
Hadn't heard about it at all 'til now. I was wondering in conversation with someone at work the other day why they couldn't use a Navy hospital ship like they did here with 9/11. Same conversation where the other person wondered why they couldn't use cruise ships to house people. Maybe they should employ everyday citizens like us. Seems we come up with the same ideas....but quicker.

(Dorine)we watched some of the Penn State game
(Peggy) LOL.. glad you had a little respite, and they won!

Pfft!! Yeah they won, but little consulation...they were playing USF fergodssake. How far the mighty have fallen...
But, thanks! ;-)

(Peggy) They are the most logical "quick fix"
for housing but where do you put all of them?

In parking lots.....literally. Like they did in Florida.

(Lucie) Some of them are still there because we can't get anyone to work on the damaged houses.
And for some, fighting with insurance to get their $$. Can't rebuild without that either.
I think I read recently that FEMA or some agency is going after people down there who apparently were awarded funds that FEMA says they really weren't entitled to. Am curious if that's totally true. I can believe a small percentage.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 43 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (09:34) * 7 lines 
 
(Mari)Public safety programs have been severely slashed--who is going to have the balls to step up to the plate and say, no more tax cuts, and in fact we all need to pitch in and pay more.
Agree and have told my representatives so...

On Sept 13 my state will vote on raising tax on gas 22cents to go towards improving roads and bridges. Rural roads are dismal; some bridges only can accomodate one car...others crumbling ,yet I bet the farm that the State Question will be defeated by the public.
Some day a school bus is going to go down on one of those bridges and the blame will be on the administration....not the state and heaven forbid , not the people who voted down the State Question.




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 44 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (10:03) * 2 lines 
 
(Evelyn) On Sept 13 my state will vote on raising tax on gas 22cents
Ouch, great timing. :-(


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 45 of 118: Mari Fulginiti  (mari) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (12:11) * 12 lines 
 
Gail, I'm so glad you and your family are well.

(Peggy) Meanwhile, here in Houston there are estimates of 100K-200K displaced people, some who evacuated early-20,000 in my county. Everyone is pulling together to help out anyway possible.

Texas and Houston in particular are to be commended. You are doing so much, and the generosity of the people there is heartwarming. Bless you. I am very impressed by your governor, Rick Perry, for his leadership. Too bad he's not a Dem, I'm still trawling for a presidential candidate for '08.;-)

The company I work for is providing the meals for the people at the Astrodome and Reliant Park. Last I heard, we have 800 people on the ground in Houston alone, employees from across the region who have chipped in to help. They're preparing and serving 75,000 meals a day. And, as you said, Peggy, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the needs of these people in the days and months ahead, for housing, health care, education, etc.

(Evelyn)On Sept 13 my state will vote on raising tax on gas 22cents to go towards improving roads and bridges. Rural roads are dismal; some bridges only can accomodate one car...others crumbling ,yet I bet the farm that the State Question will be defeated by the public.

It needs to be done. This is decades of neglect and putting things off and trying to get by because the public works budgets have been slashed. You get what you pay for. You either pay now or pay much more later when a catastrophe occurs. Politicians on both sides of the aisle need to start telling it like it is, instead of worrying about re-election on platforms of promised tax cuts. They're so busy trying to keep their jobs that they've forgotten to do their jobs. Who said that? Oh yeah, Michael Douglas in The American President; I knew it sounded too eloquent to have come from my brain.;-)



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 46 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (12:46) * 18 lines 
 
(Mari)I'm still trawling for a presidential candidate for '08.;-)
Huh? I thought it was Bill Richardson from NM?
*be still my heart*.... ( I like 'em chubby:-))

(Mari)Politicians on both sides of the aisle need to start telling it like it is, instead of worrying about re-election on platforms of promised tax cuts.
Good luck!
I'd like to know which pork project NO got in the last bill.
Let's face it, repairing the levee is not a v. sexy project .
(Nor are roads or bridges)..

Mobetta constructing a new Nascar raceway .

Let's not forget San Antonio and Dallas.
Gov Perry was the first one to step up to the plate.
"If you can bus 'em here, I'll take 'em"





 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 47 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (12:52) * 10 lines 
 
(Evelyn) On Sept 13 my state will vote on raising tax on gas 22cents
(Dorine)Ouch, great timing. :-(

Well, we're already paying 17cents ....it would only be another nickel...
a f-nickel.

BTW Karen, I didn't mean to dispute the good professor from LSU creds.
My beef is that he white-washed his state gov't.
Hey, the guy is low profile for a $20M project. You think the Feds are going to dish out that kind of $$$ on the strength of his paper...regardless how eloquent.

Big Money needs Big Names, unfortunately, like a senator who is threatening to vote against a bill others want. Do they still call that horse-trading?


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 48 of 118: LisaJH  (LisaJH) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (13:47) * 3 lines 
 
Gail, so glad you and your family are okay. Thanks for checking in.




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 49 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (14:34) * 12 lines 
 
Houston and Galveston don't have emergency plans either...

From Houston Chronicle:

"In Galveston County, at least 30,000 people do not have transportation to escape the threat of harm in the event of a serious storm. Complicating the evacuation process is that only one major highway goes in and out of Galveston Island."

""We still haven't been able to really come up with a fine-tuned way, in my opinion, to deal with seniors, special-needs population and the economically disadvantaged," Galveston County Judge James Yarbrough said."

"Our plan does not have designated shelter areas," said Dennis Storemski, Houston's chief of emergency management. "The city doesn't necessarily plan for that. The Red Cross is responsible for shelters. The Red Cross is the shelter component. FEMA will come in and figure out the long-term housing."

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/3338725



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 50 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (16:51) * 1 lines 
 
Sorry, ladies, but the Gail that posted is not the Gail from NO. I don't think she has logged into Drool yet, as she isn't using her own computer and there are a few other priorities.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 51 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (18:30) * 21 lines 
 
(Evelyn) On Sept 13 my state will vote on raising tax on gas 22cents
(Dorine)Ouch, great timing. :-(
(Evelyn) Well, we're already paying 17cents ....it would only be another nickel...a f-nickel.

Oh, I thought it was an *additional* 22 cents. A nickel's a drop in the bucket at this point.
Had a report of $4 a gallon in Queens yesterday, but apparently when people dissed that place, he put it down to $3.59. And to think I was excited I paid $3.04 in NJ yesterday. Mostly in NJ where I drove through was $3.19 or $3.39.
Funny though, in NYT today saw that Georgia is postponing raising their gas tax because the pricing's all gotten out of hand. Don't remember which section, will have to go search.

But I completely agree with having to raise taxes in general. It'll hurt, but it's needed. Don't think they should've been cut to such a great extent or at all. I don't believe I benefitted a huge amount from it. To top it off, they're still gunning for the permanent repeal of the estate tax. I can't say how completely irresponsible I find that, and at this particular time. Not just because of NO. And to top it off, the administration has been lobbying LA's Rep. Landreaux (sp?) to give her support. Which leads me to my next thought...

Gail was upset that LA didn't seem to fight hard enough to get what they needed from the feds. I find that a tad naive. It's a quid pro quo system. The administration isn't going to give you what you want just because you ask repeatedly and determinedly (sp?)for something, say....$$ for shoring up levees and such. If you don't have something they want, ie. something that would benefit a particular interest group they favor or *perhaps* support and a vote for that estate tax repeal and maybe throw in some campaigning for a national candidate to boot when the time comes.

Unfortunately the '06 elections are next year and they'll do whatever they have to to get the votes, especially bringing home the pork.

Oh and there was some interesting information on FEMA and it's evolution over the years in the Times today (might have been yesterday...I get the Sunday paper in 2 parts on Sat and Sun, and read it all at once, so it might've been part of Sat's paper). It's had it's ups and downs.

And while I may not be a Bush supporter (for many reasons that he hasn't been able to help me overcome), I do agree that it was a many pronged failure of government on every level that contributed to this. But he is by no means blameless. I give him credit for admitting there were mistakes and problems. That happens once in a blue mooon....ok, actually once. ;-)

And I will say, that while I've never been a Bush supporter, I had a complete turnaround in opinion when he came here a couple of days after 9/11, but that good feeling has been completely squandered by many of his, his administration's, and our Congress' actions since. I was scared shitless on and around 9/11 and between Rudy and he, they helped me feel better. Too bad he did **nothing** to continue to prove himself.
I mean, you go to a disaster area, don't bother to go inside the airplane hangar at the airport to talk to some injured people...just the photo op people they arranged outside who walk and talk fine....then make a joke while making your speech. I mean, even Princess Diana hugged those poor little AIDS kids. *sitting down, putting head in hands and shaking it* He has a bizarre habit of smiling and laughing at events and subjects that clearly don't warrant it.




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 52 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (18:33) * 5 lines 
 
Oops, reread my post 3 times and didn't catch that I didn't finish my thought.

(Me) The administration isn't going to give you what you want just because you ask repeatedly and determinedly (sp?)for something, say....$$ for shoring up levees and such. If you don't have something they want, ie. something that would benefit a particular interest group they favor or *perhaps* support and a vote for that estate tax repeal and maybe throw in some campaigning for a national candidate to boot when the time comes.
If you don't have something they want, they aren't going to do diddly squat to help you. Until it's too late and they have no choice.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 53 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (20:07) * 10 lines 
 
Anybody see 60 Minutes tonight?
I caught the end of the NO segment, but I though I heard an engineer say it wasn't a levee that ruptured, but a canal wall.

The African American who is the National Guard general was v. impressive.

I'm getting pretty tired of Mayor Nagin and his lame excuses.






 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 54 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (20:34) * 8 lines 
 
Missed it, but am going to try to watch the repeat of Meet the Press. I think some refugees or something were interviewed. Just caught a blurb somewhere that made me want to watch it.
Will be watching the mailbox weekly for a while for my Time and Newsweeks to help me with the comprehensive coverage of what happened, including why the flooding occurred.

And to lighten up a bit...am checking out the MDA telethon, like I never do, as part of it is devoted to Katrina fundraising. Am waiting for my "new" crush to come out and sing a song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as I heard he and other Bdway show actors are to do with material from their shows. I hope he wears that cute little plaid costume he wears in the show. ;-) Heard he got his hair cut rather short, which may cut down on the cute factor. :-(
Funny, I chase all the way to another country to see Colin in person and maybe say 2 words....or verbally spar with him ;-))...with this guy, Raϊl Esparza, I go to the play once, can see him virtually any night of the week and talk to him all I want after the show....and haven't done the stage door once!! :-O
I've got 'til next April unless it closes first.

Ok, sorry, threadjack over....back to the heavier discussion. ;-)


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 55 of 118: Kathleen Neary  (Gussie) * Sun, Sep  4, 2005 (20:46) * 6 lines 
 
(Evelyn) The African American who is the National Guard general was v. impressive.

I only saw part of the show as well. That is Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. He is commander of First U.S. Army based at Ft. Gillem in Atlanta. Normally, he's responsible for overseeing training for all deploying troops on the east coast. I read that he is from Lakeland, LA, and has daughter and other relatives who live in NO

Ft. Gillem is also one of the bases that is in process of being shut down permanently per the Realignment and Base Closure Commission.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 56 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (06:39) * 28 lines 
 
General Honore was the only bright spot mentioned by New Orleans Mayor Nagin when he blasted the relief effort.

from

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/02/nagin.transcript/

WWL: Did you say to the president of the United States, "I need the military in here"?

NAGIN: I said, "I need everything."

Now, I will tell you this -- and I give the president some credit on this -- he sent one John Wayne dude down here that can get some stuff done, and his name is [Lt.] Gen. [Russel] Honore.

And he came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving. And he's getting some stuff done.

They ought to give that guy -- if they don't want to give it to me, give him full authority to get the job done, and we can save some people.

WWL: What do you need right now to get control of this situation?

NAGIN: I need reinforcements, I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. We ain't talking about -- you know, one of the briefings we had, they were talking about getting public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out here.

I'm like, "You got to be kidding me. This is a national disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans."

That's -- they're thinking small, man. And this is a major, major, major deal. And I can't emphasize it enough, man. This is crazy.

I've got 15,000 to 20,000 people over at the convention center. It's bursting at the seams. The poor people in Plaquemines Parish. ... We don't have anything, and we're sharing with our brothers in Plaquemines Parish.

It's awful down here, man.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 57 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (06:43) * 10 lines 
 
wonkette.com:

• Rove and Bartlett devised plan to shift blame to Louisiana and to ignore Democrats' attacks; many Bush advisors spent weekend at Nicole Devenish's wedding in Greece. Chertoff's talking point: "We will have time to go back and do an after-action report, but the time right now is to look at what the enormous tasks ahead are." [NYT]
• Officials point fingers over failures in Gulf Coast. Nagin: "We're still fighting over authority." Hillary calls for independent commission to analyze response. [NYT, WT]
• "Besieged White House" forced to balance problems on the Gulf Coast, complexity of Supreme Court drama, and ongoing challenges in Iraq. [WP, WT]
• High death toll anticipated. Michael Leavitt: "I think it's evident it's in the thousands." Chertoff: "We need to prepare the country for what's coming." [WP, NYT, LAT]

• Bush to revisit Louisiana today. Doris Kearns Goodwin: "These are the kinds of moments when a president gives voice to the country. They're remembered forever, if it's done right." [NYT]
• Years of budget cuts and bureaucratic shuffling have left FEMA unprepared. Former official: "They've taken emergency management away from the emergency managers. These operations are being run by people who are amateurs at what they are doing." [LAT]
• Howard Kurtz: "For once, reporters were acting like concerned citizens, not passive observers. . . Maybe, just maybe, journalism needs to bring more passion to the table -- and not just when cable shows are obsessing on the latest missing white woman." [WP]


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 58 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:11) * 28 lines 
 
As I read around, there's an ugly, ugly pattern emerging regarding FEMA/Dept of Homeland Security of them turning down offers of help and halting efforts...

**Turning down the Canadians..
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/8/31/235829/261


**Rescues by California swift water rescue teams halted - Hundreds of people in Orleans and Jefferson parishes are rescued by swift water rescue teams from California. However, at the end of the day, FEMA halts further rescues due to supposed security concerns, though no security incidents involving the teams are reported by CNN journalist Rick Sanchez who was embedded with the teams during the rescues.
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0509/01/acd.01.html
(You have to scroll down a ways to find the part with Rick Sanchez, though I recommend reading other parts of the transcript. Anderson Cooper seems quite traumatized by all the dead and dying (if you didn't see it yourself, I haven't been watching much myself).

** Security/American Red Cross News breaks that the Red Cross has been kept out of New Orleans by the Department of Homeland Security -Media reports and an announcement on the American Red Cross's own website (page created Friday, September 2nd) explains that the Red Cross has stayed out of New Orleans and not provided food and water to New Orleans residents dying of heat exhaustion and hunger on orders of the Department of Homeland Security. Local American Red Cross CEO, Tom Foley, states to KWY Newsradio in Philadelphia: "The state Department of Homeland Security in Louisiana asked the Red Cross not to go into the city because they want that message to be, 'You need to leave the city. This isn't going to be a sheltering spot.' "
(Apparently it's the same transcript as above. I remember the Red Cross lady saying the same thing on Sat). Hopefully she/they aren't exaggerating.


Oh my, and this one's the kicker. I was reading the transcript of Meet the Press when Mr. Broussard came on. It was probably the most heartbreaking thing I've seen so far in this debacle. The transcript can't begin to convey the depth of emotion he poured out near the end of his interview...so much so they had to stop the interview and go to Haley Barbour.
I'm not a cryer, it takes a lot, but my eyes were far from dry watching this poor man. When you get to his interview....make sure to go all the way to the end of it, where he talks about the Emergency Mgmt guy's mother. It's a *fucking* disgrace. All of it.

Here's part of what he said...
Aaron Broussard on MTP this am.

Three quick examples. We had Wal-Mart deliver three trucks of water. FEMA turned them back. They said we didn't need them. This was a week ago. FEMA, we had 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel on a Coast Guard vessel docked in my parish. When we got there with our trucks, FEMA says don't give you the fuel. Yesterday -- yesterday -- FEMA comes in and cuts all of our emergency communication lines. They cut them without notice. Our sheriff, Harry Lee, goes back in, he reconnects the line. He posts armed guards and said no one is getting near these lines

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9179790/


And overall, I, too am puzzled about not using those buses beforehand. There seemed to be no one in place to drive them...no plan I'd guess, which is ridiculous.
Did you see about the young kid who took a school bus and drove a bunch of people to safety Saturday, I think it was? Said they might charge him with theft. I hope that isn't true. Can't imagine any court would have the balls to even try that.




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 59 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:49) * 43 lines 
 
Forgot to give the link where some of those excerpts came...a Katrina timeline...
http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Hurricane_Katrina_Chronology

What some of the locals think...
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/4/152433/0622
Bob Schieffer of CBS News on Face the Nation gives a great editorial, too. Look at the 4th comment down.

This links to the whole Newsweek story they excerpt here.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/5/02528/13587
(Just click on the link in orange that says "And people were dying")

This links to the NYT...
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/4/233958/0435

Oh and found more of FEMA turning away aid either actively or passively.
http://www.timescommunity.com/site/tab1.cfm?newsid=15144436&BRD=2553&PAG=461&dept_id=506035&rfi=6

Here's an interesting back and forth about who dropped the ball and when, mostly focusing on the local level. Some interesting links. Check the end where it talks about why Nagin took so long to declare a mandatory evacuation. Much of what I'm seeing everywhere about who did and didn't do something is a case of CYA and worrying about potential lawsuits from various parties.
http://instapundit.com/archives/025328.php

Talking about FEMA organization since 9/11.
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/4/4271/53522
Now in all fairness, I think they did fairly ok with other disasters in the past few years. So what happened here?

And the point to doing this would be?
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/3/225254/3764

Not surprising, but *shaking head*.
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_09/007042.php

Another photo op?
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/3/223021/8888
Tried to link directly to Americablog, but must be too busy.

I'm trying to find a happy story, but having a hard time. I guess the kid with the bus is it. :-(


Again to change the subject to a lighter note....got to see my guy Raul Esparza do his Chitty Chitty song, Hushaby Mountain. Must've pretaped earlier in the week. His great hair wasn't cut yet. And he wore that cute costume. :-D
If you ever get a chance to hear him sing on Bdwy, do so. He's fabulous live in a variety of settings.

Ok, back to the regularly scheduled thread....




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 60 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (09:00) * 4 lines 
 
See the media conference from a couple of fistfulls of press coverage on the Katrina disaster, some of which overlap with Dorine's excellent cites.

http://spring.net/yapp-bin/public/read/media/44



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 61 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (10:10) * 20 lines 
 
Thanks, Dorine, for all the links. I'm checking them all out, but this one about Bush's first visit, which seemed totally staged to me, watching it, made me sick:

UPDATE: Good God. Laura Rozen passes along the following report from a Dutch reader:

There was a striking dicrepancy between the CNN International report on the Bush visit to the New Orleans disaster zone, yesterday, and reports of the same event by German TV.

ZDF News reported that the president's visit was a completely staged event. Their crew witnessed how the open air food distribution point Bush visited in front of the cameras was torn down immediately after the president and the herd of 'news people' had left and that others which were allegedly being set up were abandoned at the same time.

The people in the area were once again left to fend for themselves, said ZDF.

This goes beyond stage management. This is criminal.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_09/007042.php

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

While I agree that people have to focus on getting things done, moving forward and dealing with the aftermath, a post-mortem (for lack of a better word) has to be conducted and accountability has to be established. Where there are incompetent people now, they have to go as they will continue to impede the progress of recovery. That's just logical.

I liked Broussard's call for taking a chainsaw to the top of the totem pole. ;-) Sorry I didn't watch Meet the Press yesterday.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 62 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (10:10) * 4 lines 
 
I finally got to those links, Terry. Some great stuff and I see we found some of the same stuff.

And two thumbs WAY up to Frank Rich this week. He's a must read on Sundays for me, but somehow missed it yesterday. Thanks for the link, Terry.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/opinion/04rich.html?pagewanted=print


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 63 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (10:16) * 5 lines 
 
(Karen) this one about Bush's first visit, which seemed totally staged to me, watching it, made me sick:
Was that the one where he was standing around with the other officials while they explained plans to him, or whatever they said, and he had the dumb look on his face?

Oh, excellent, just found on MSNBC's website video of the Meet the Press interviews. It has a box in the middle with Free Video. Click to the second one, that's Broussard. You can see how upset he got just in the still. I don't think I can watch again. It was upsetting.
To top it off, he talked about this one woman in the nursing home, and I read in the NYT yesterday that possibly 81 people died in a nursing home when it flooded because no one came to get them. I just don't know what to say.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 64 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (10:32) * 1 lines 
 
Broussard and Mayor Nagin were powerful and emotional both in their own ways. Broussard looked like a good ol' boy with his baseball cap and all and in the end he just broke down, cried and buried his head in his hands.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 65 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (11:33) * 15 lines 
 
Mr. Rich has not seen the aerial photo of the parking lot in NO with the school buses on Thursday night.Which Yahoo showed. Those buses could have been dispatched to the nursing home to pick up the residents earlier in the week, when the parking lot was not flooded.

Didn't you read the article in the Houston Chronicle that I posted yesterday?
(NY Times is far from the scene!)Houston is where the action is now.

The article clearly states that there are no plans to evacuate nursing homes in Galveston...this is not just something that happened in Houston.

These guys can cry all they want now..but at the time they were they were giving press conferences from the Hyatt .

Rudy would have been onsite.







 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 66 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:01) * 13 lines 
 
Maybe he didn't see the photo because it wasn't actually relevant to what he was talking about, which was the response *after* the flooding. I have acknowledged and totally agree that the ball was dropped on what happened before the flooding with the evacuations. I don't get why those buses didn't mobilize either.

But that doesn't at all negate that when the scope of the disaster became quickly apparent, that balls were dropped by the feds, whose responsibility it became.
Did you read the links about FEMA/DHS turning away help? What's up with that?

I don't understand the reluctance to hold the feds accountable as the local/state governments should be.
There's a distinct pattern of incompetence, ignorance, malfeasance, and downright dishonesty with this administration and federal government for the past several years resulting in the unnecessary deaths and maiming of tens of thousands of people. Well documented. Why is it so difficult to believe that they couldn't have screwed up again? Then they work so hard to cover it all up. I'm not saying that no other administration has done that, but I think not like this since Johnson/Nixon era.

And honestly, I don't remember if I read that Houston Chronicle article. I've read so much lately, have to go back and look.
And what does that mean, Houston is where the action is now?
And what does that mean the NY Times is far from the scene? In reporting? Or having actual people there to report?




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 67 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:02) * 9 lines 
 
There probably isn't a city on earth that has realistic contingency plans that would ensure effective evacuation without loss of life, but that isn't the point. Houston/Galveston too is subject to hurricanes. No argument from me, but the NO has always had a unique and far more dangerous set of circumstances and the warnings and plans did point to all of this happening. People were cognizant and nothing had been done at the federal level, which is what funds these programs.

Good point being raised by an MSNBC reporter (can't remember who, as it is on in another room), but he has witnessed disasters all over the world, including the third world, and couldn't believe how NO compares. Echoing again that sentiment that it is incredulous that this is happening in the richest and most advanced nation in the world.

But the best part was comparing Bush's leadership duirng this and 9/11, when he sat in the schoolroom. The man may be good communicating with the average Joe, in simple sentences, most of which aren't even sentences, but he has no leadership abilities. Not surprising IMO. Puppets aren't know for leadership.






 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 68 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:03) * 2 lines 
 
(Dorine) Then they work so hard to cover it all up.
Gotta have one's priorities.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 69 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:09) * 9 lines 
 
(Karen) but he has no leadership abilities
And, in fact, ran at least one company into the ground as I recall.

And as you can see, FEMA and the other agencies...as well as the White House mind you, was well aware that the local people wouldn't be able to do it without their help.
The IEM team will complete a functional exercise on a catastrophic hurricane strike in Southeast Louisiana and use results to develop a response and recovery plan. A catastrophic event is one that can overwhelm state, local and private capabilities so quickly that communities could be devastated without Federal assistance and multi-agency planning and preparedness.
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2004/06/09/43008.htm
http://www.fema.gov/news/newsrelease.fema?id=13051
I think the second link is the one that Karen mentioned with the guy from LSU.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 70 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:15) * 2 lines 
 
(Karen) he has witnessed disasters all over the world, including the third world, and couldn't believe how NO compares. Echoing again that sentiment that it is incredulous that this is happening in the richest and most advanced nation in the world.
That's what many of us at work kept saying last week...how does this happen in the United States of America, of *all* places? It boggles the mind.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 71 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:39) * 15 lines 
 
Accoutability? I can't wait for accountability...

Wait til they start digging up where all the gov't $$ was diverted that was supposed to go to fixing those canals and levees.

Louisianna local and state govt's are cespools.
Those guys are going to have something to cry about.

I seldom read columnists or bloggers for facts...they just have opinions.
Like yours or mine.
I'd rather have facts.

One wonders ...will the media report the findings of the bi-partisan committee with the same glee that they have blamed the president.





 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 72 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:49) * 5 lines 
 
(Dorine) And, in fact, ran at least one company into the ground as I recall.
It's at least three, as I recall.

(Evelyn) Louisianna local and state govt's are cespools.
So is mine. What's your point? ;-)


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 73 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:52) * 1 lines 
 
BTW, we had a mayor who lost his bid for reelection because he couldn't get the snow removed fast enough. Ever since then, not one mayor has shirked his responsbility and those plows and salt trucks on the road even before the first flake falls.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 74 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:56) * 8 lines 
 
(Evelyn) Wait til they start digging up where all the gov't $$ was diverted that was supposed to go to fixing those canals and levees.
Maybe they'll find it with the 8.8 **billion** dollars missing from Iraq reconstruction funds. :-(

If you read some of those blogs, you'll see, at least on Daily Kos, they aren't allowed to post certain things without documentation or some kind of proof to back up assertions. Speculation is a no-no unless it's expressly stated as being someone's opinion.
Also, depending on which blog you read, quite a few posters are investigative journalists who worked for significant publications at one time. Matter of fact, one of them I looked at today, that I may have linked, works or worked for the WaPo.

media report the findings of the bi-partisan committee with the same glee that they have blamed the president.
Um, excuse me, the president has gotten an unprecedented bye from the media during his terms, especially in the lead up to the war, which I find, at the very least, disheartening. If he didn't we wouldn't be in this war, I suspect. It's about time someone truly called him on the ignorance and incompetence repeatedly displayed.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 75 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (12:57) * 3 lines 
 
(Dorine) And, in fact, ran at least one company into the ground as I recall.
(Karen) It's at least three, as I recall.

I actually thought it was 2, but went with 1 to be safe, so I didn't make him out to be such a horrible boss unnecessarily. ;-)


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 76 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (13:06) * 5 lines 
 
(Evelyn) Louisianna local and state govt's are cespools.
(Karen) So is mine. What's your point? ;-)

Oh, oh!! Can I join this club? ;-D




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 77 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (13:12) * 13 lines 
 
One Web site, http://www.scipionus.com, is combating the confusion by
encouraging users to annotate a Google Map of New Orleans with information
about specific locations. Collectively, the community is creating a
collaborative map Wikipedia. Anyone with something to add can enter a
street address and leave a marker on the map at that location, providing a
few lines of text about conditions at that spot. "Never flooded, typical
wind damage, passable street 8-31-05," reads one tag. "Trey and April's We
are OK ppl," reports another.

The site, created by Jonathan Mendez and Greg Stoll, software engineers
who work together in Austin, Texas, went up Wednesday afternoon, and
already has attracted nearly 300,000 visitors, who've left more than 600
tags.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 78 of 118: Wolf  (wolf) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (13:18) * 1 lines 
 
did anyone else notice the subtlety that Gen Honeree used when speaking to Jeraldo about why they had to wait to get into NO? and how humble the man is? very rare for a general!


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 79 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (13:22) * 9 lines 
 
*In Lucy mode*

"*My* gov't is squeaky clean"

*snort*






 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 80 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (13:27) * 6 lines 
 
I saw Gen Honoree interviewed on 60 Minutes last night.

African-American Lt Gen head of the National Guard.
Described as a "John Wayne" type.




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 81 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (14:28) * 6 lines 
 
General Honore just chewed out a reporter at a press conference, he made the Head of Homeland Security (standing next to him) look like a wimp.

One woman reporter asked him if New Orleans was secure and he answered (forcefully) "have you been there lately?"

He quickly walked off in the middle of Chertoff talking and Chertoff stopped mid sentence and trailed behind General Honore.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 82 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (14:30) * 22 lines 
 
Sean Penn fails to help:
Rescue attempt by Hollywood actor Sean Penn founders in New Orleans

Sun Sep 4, 5:10 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS, United States (AFP) - Efforts by Hollywood actor Sean
Penn to aid New Orleans victims stranded by Hurricane Katrina foundered
badly, when the boat he was piloting to launch a rescue attempt sprang
a leak.

Penn had planned to rescue children waylaid by Katrina's flood waters,
but apparently forgot to plug a hole in the bottom of the vessel,
which began taking water within seconds of its launch.

The actor, known for his political activism, was seen wearing what
appeared to be a white flak jacket and frantically bailing water out of
the sinking vessel with a red plastic cup.


http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050904/en_afp/usweatherpennpeople_050904211015

http://www.idontlikeyouinthatway.com/blog/archives/seanpenn1.jpg


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 83 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (14:30) * 1 lines 
 



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 84 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (15:20) * 5 lines 
 
Bless him for trying.

The volunteer efforts are heroic.

Mobetta than the blabber-mouth -bloggers.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 85 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (16:08) * 4 lines 
 
If they were praising Bush to the skies, they wouldn't be such blabbermouths would they? ;-)
And if this is the best defense to be put up for Bush, to mock the bloggers.....:-/

Poor Sean Penn, it's sadly cute.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 86 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (16:16) * 4 lines 
 
If they were praising Bush to the skies, they wouldn't be such blabbermouths would they? ;-)
And if this is the best defense to be put up for Bush, to mock the bloggers.....:-/


*Ditto snorting* here ;-)


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 87 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (16:43) * 4 lines 
 
The best map by far of New Orleans showing all the key elements.

http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/national/2005_HURRICANEKATRINA_GRAPHIC/



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 88 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (19:20) * 3 lines 
 
http://www.icerocket.com/katrina

A Hurricane Katrina Search Engine for people, messages, the missing.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 89 of 118: linda kemmerer  (lindak) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (19:35) * 6 lines 
 
(Dorine)Echoing again that sentiment that it is incredulous that this is happening in the richest and most advanced nation in the world.
That's what many of us at work kept saying last week...how does this happen in the United States of America, of *all* places? It boggles the mind.


How does a category 4 hit the richest country in the world? How are 500,000 people displaced and left with nothing within hours? How does it become overwhelming?

Katrina's head rolls first in my book.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 90 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (19:47) * 2 lines 
 
The actual storm isn't the least surprising or mind boggling. People being displaced by a hurricane or another natural disaster isn't mind boggling either, it's happened before...just last year for starters.
Yeah, if only we could figure out how to steer away those pesky storms. Wonder what ever happened to that plan to feed seeds to a storm and it would dry up and go away or however that worked.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 91 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (19:48) * 11 lines 
 
Have heard that the head of the National Hurricane Center (not a state employee) said he warned them all: Head of Homeland Security and FEMA. Warned them all about the potential for levee breaks too.

Can anybody believe Michael Brown's credentials? His last job for the previous nine years was Commissioner of the Arabian Horse Assn and he was asked to resign. Is this the kind of person you put in charge of federal emergency management?

But he's from Oklahoma, so I guess he must be qualified. ;-)

This isn't a blog report but it isn't the Houston Chronicle either:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0509040342sep04,1,474800.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 92 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (19:54) * 10 lines 
 
If they were praising Bush to the skies, they wouldn't be such blabbermouths would they? ;-)
*triple snort*

Bloggers come in all flavors;-) Pro and Con.

I include all of them.

Worthless.

(Except the ones that nabbed Dan Rather, of course;-))))


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 93 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (19:59) * 2 lines 
 
(Except the ones that nabbed Dan Rather, of course;-)))
LOL! You know, I never liked him either. ;-D


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 94 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (20:03) * 3 lines 
 
Keith Obermann just did a ripping editorial. Called Bush the 21st Century Marie Antoinette. And that's exactly what's been bothering me. The lack of responsibiltiy and accountability at the highest levels, the inability to say "we blew it."

When will they put a transcript up?


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 95 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (20:17) * 4 lines 
 
I love Keith. I'll catch the repeat. Just caught the last 5 mins. Never seen him look like that. :-(((
I thought he was about to cry.

I hope to God the number of dead anticipated is waaaayyy exaggerated. Rudy said that same amount too, after 9/11, but it was significantly lower. There have been whispers that the final number wasn't true.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 96 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (00:04) * 78 lines 
 
Navy ship nearby underused
Craft with food, water, doctors needed orders

By Stephen J. Hedges
Tribune national correspondent
Published September 4, 2005

ON THE USS BATAAN -- While federal and state emergency planners scramble to get more military relief to Gulf Coast communities stricken by Hurricane Katrina, a massive naval goodwill station has been cruising offshore, underused and waiting for a larger role in the effort.

The USS Bataan, a 844-foot ship designed to dispatch Marines in amphibious assaults, has helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It also can make its own water, up to 100,000 gallons a day. And it just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina came roaring ashore.

The Bataan rode out the storm and then followed it toward shore, awaiting relief orders. Helicopter pilots flying from its deck were some of the first to begin plucking stranded New Orleans residents.

But now the Bataan's hospital facilities, including six operating rooms and beds for 600 patients, are empty. A good share of its 1,200 sailors could also go ashore to help with the relief effort, but they haven't been asked. The Bataan has been in the stricken region the longest of any military unit, but federal authorities have yet to fully utilize the ship.

Captain ready, waiting

"Could we do more?" said Capt. Nora Tyson, commander of the Bataan. "Sure. I've got sailors who could be on the beach plucking through garbage or distributing water and food and stuff. But I can't force myself on people.

"We're doing everything we can to contribute right now, and we're ready. If someone says you need to take on people, we're ready. If they say hospitals on the beach can't handle it ... if they need to send the overflow out here, we're ready. We've got lots of room."

Navy helicopters from the Bataan and Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida have joined the growing aerial armada of choppers that are lifting hurricane survivors from flooded surroundings and delivering food and water.

More will arrive throughout the weekend when the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and four other Navy ships, including three amphibious assault ships--really mini-aircraft carriers for helicopter use--arrive in the gulf from Norfolk, Va. The USS Comfort, a hospital ship from Baltimore, also is steaming there.

The Bataan, though, was already in the gulf when Katrina crossed Florida and picked up new, devastating energy from the warm gulf waters. The ship, sailing near the Texas coastline, had just finished an exercise in Panama and was scheduled to return to its home port in Norfolk on Friday after six weeks at sea.

Instead, the ship rode out the hurricane in 12 to 14 foot seas and then fell in behind the storm as it neared the gulf coast. A day after Katrina struck, Navy helicopters arrived from Corpus Christi, Texas, and began survey flights over New Orleans.

The initial belief, Tyson said, was that the city had been spared.

"On Monday it was like, `Wow, it missed us, it took a turn east,' and everything eased up," Tyson aid. "It was `Let's open up Bourbon Street, have a beer, let's go party, and understandably so. And then all of a sudden, literally and figuratively, the dam broke, and here we are."

When the city's levees broke Tuesday, Tyson's pilots were rescuing stranded residents. Communications became muddled as the rescue and humanitarian supply efforts were bogged down by rising water and sketchy information. Tyson, who would get debriefings from returning pilots, had perhaps one of the best vantage points to see what was unfolding.

`Like a bad dream'

"It was like a bad dream that you knew you had to wake up from," she said.

A 135-foot landing craft stored within the Bataan, the LCU-1656, was dispatched to steam up the 90 miles of Mississippi River to New Orleans. It took a crew of 16, including a doctor, and its deck was stacked with food and water. The craft carries enough food and fuel to remain self-sufficient for 10 days.

Moving up through the storm's flotsam, the crew couldn't believe the scene.

"We saw a lot of dead animals, dead horses, floating cows, dead alligators," said Rodney Blackshear, LCU-1656's navigator. "And a lot of dogs that had been pets. But no people."

Near Boothville, La., the storm surge had lifted a construction crane and put it on top of a house. Near Venice, the crew members considered going ashore to examine the damage, but dogs drove them back.

"I didn't want any of my guys in there," said Bill Fish, who commands LCUs and who went on the river trip.

"Everything was decimated. It was the storm surge."

Then the Bataan was ordered to move to the waters off Biloxi, Miss., and LCU-1656 was ordered to return. The landing craft was 40 miles from New Orleans, but it wouldn't be able to deliver its cargo.

"It was a disappointment," Fish said. "I figured we would be a big help in New Orleans. We've got electricity, and the police could have charged up their radios. We've got water, toilets. We've got food."

Now sailing within 25 miles of Gulfport, Miss., the Bataan has become a floating warehouse. Supplies from Texas and Florida are ferried out to the ship, and the helicopters distribute them where Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel say they are needed.

The Bataan has also taken on a substantial medical staff. Helicopters ferried 84 doctors, nurses and technicians 60 miles out to the ship from the Pensacola Naval Air Station on Friday, and on Saturday afternoon 24 of the medical personnel were flown to the New Orleans Convention Center where they expected to augment the staff of an Air Force medical clinic on the center's bus parking lot. The medical staff had come from Jacksonville, Fla., Naval Hospital, and they covered a wide swath of medical specialties from surgeons and pediatricians to heart specialists, a psychiatrist and even a physical therapist.

"It's really a cross section of a major hospital," said Capt. Kevin Gallagher, a Navy nurse who was part of the group. "We haven't been told what to expect, but we're going to find out once we get out there."

Moving in, ready to go

On Friday evening the Bataan was edging closer to the Mississippi shoreline; until then, it had stayed well out into the gulf to avoid floating debris.

Closer to shore, it will be able to deploy the landing craft again, as well as Marine hovercraft that can ride up onto shore to deliver supplies.

LCU-1656 cruised 98 miles overnight Thursday with a failed electrical generator and broken starboard propeller to join up again with the Bataan, their mother ship. After repairs, it was to set out for the shoreline near Gulfport, Miss., Saturday with a 15,000 water tank lashed to vessel's deck, as well as pallets of bottled water.

The role in the relief effort of the sizable medical staff on board the Bataan was not up to the Navy, but to FEMA officials directing the overall effort.

That agency has been criticized sharply for failing to respond quickly enough.

Tyson said the hurricane was an unusual event that has left some painful lessons.

"Can you do things better? Always," Tyson said. "Unfortunately, some of the lessons we have learned during this catastrophe we are learning the hard way. But I think we're working together well to make things happen."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0509040369sep04,1,4144825.story?page=2&coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 97 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (06:50) * 5 lines 
 
2005-08-26 18:00 -- 2005-08-29 18:00

Hurricane Katrina




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 98 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (07:48) * 28 lines 
 
We're starting to sound like the Russians when that big sub with sailors was stuck underwater and they refused all offers of help and equipment, then those sailors died, I think.
Maybe they just have nowhere to put it all.


EU cites snags in getting Katrina aid to victims

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Transport and other logistics problems are holding up some of the mass of humanitarian aid European countries have offered to the victims of hurricane Katrina, an EU official said on Tuesday.
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"There appear to be some transportation problems," Barbara Helfferich, a spokeswoman for the
European Union's executive Commission, told a news briefing.

She said a Swedish plane laden with aid was waiting to take off but had not got U.S. approval to enter the United States.

High-speed pumps offered by Germany had arrived but Helfferich said unspecified "coordination problems" in the United States had prevented them from being deployed so far.

She said EU authorities had suggested to the United States that aid could be flown in more easily via U.S. army airbases in Europe, such as that in Ramstein, Germany. She did not say if they had received a reply.

Twenty-three European countries have offered help to the United States ranging from financial assistance to ready-to-eat meals, blankets, tents and disinfectant supplies.

Helfferich said the United States had not agreed to take it all and Britain, which currently holds the presidency of the EU, was negotiating with U.S. authorities on what to deliver.

The EU and
NATO said on Sunday they had received official requests from the United States to provide emergency assistance for the victims of Katrina, days after it ravaged U.S. cities.

The Commission said at the time that the request to it came after several days of discussions and insisted that the EU, which calls itself the world's biggest aid donor, could have acted sooner if asked.

President Bush is under fierce criticism for his government's slow response to the hurricane, a disaster which the mayor of New Orleans says may have killed 10,000 in his city.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 99 of 118: Vera  (kolin) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (08:25) * 64 lines 
 
From Globe and Mail
Frank Stronach is a Canadian enterpreneur and owner of Magna one of the largest Canadian corporations.
Frank Stronach has had wild visions before -- but never one quite like this.

This improbable dream involves airlifting evacuees from the devastation of New Orleans to the pampered world of Palm Beach, Fla. -- a vision that involves rich American whites from gated communities opening up to desperately poor American blacks and even includes the construction of a new mobile-home community in Louisiana for more than 300 victims of hurricane Katrina.

And so far, he's pulling it off.

But then, Frank Stronach once dreamed he could make a better life in Canada than his native Austria could give, and he made it happen to a point where the young man who arrived with $40 in his pocket now regularly pockets more than $50-million in salary as the chairman of Ontario-based Magna International, the $20-billion automobile parts giant he built from scratch.

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He once had a vision that he would live to be 150, and today, as he turns 73, is almost half way there -- about the same point he expects to reach some time this morning on his latest wild scheme.

At that point, the final plane will touch down at Palm Beach International Airport, bringing in the last group of evacuees selected by FEMA and the American Red Cross.

This will bring the total to approximately 300, although the number may yet be increased to 400, and all will be given medical attention and new clothes courtesy of Palm Beach residents, and then taken to Magna's new training facilities at nearby Palm Meadows. There they will be housed in facilities intended for grooms and thoroughbred trainers, fed at a brand-new state-of-the-art cafeteria and, some time within the next two months, returned to Louisiana to live in a 240-hectare trailer park yet to be built.

Mr. Stronach has committed approximately $3-million to the rescue effort, although costs at the moment are purely guesswork. A suitable location for the mobile homes that will be sent from Canada has not been decided and, Mr. Stronach says, he will let the evacuees have significant say in where they go, or whether they even wish to stay together.

Last Thursday, Mr. Stronach decided he could no longer wait for slow governments and large organizations to act on the tragedy unfolding along the Gulf Coast. He knew from his own life experience what it was like to be desperately poor and hungry -- "Those things are burned right into the soul" -- but could only imagine the danger that the survivors were facing .

"If you have feelings," he says, "you have to start thinking. If you come from the working class, you might say, I can send $100 to the Red Cross, and that's fine, but you also have corporations that could do something special.

"The great thing about a large company that makes a profit is that you have the capability to jump in and be helpful -- right away."

Mr. Stronach immediately dispatched his assistant, Dennis Mills, to Florida.

"I got this call from Frank," says Mr. Mills, who was still in Palm Beach yesterday afternoon, "and he says 'This is crazy! Let's go!'

"A lot of Canadians have kicked the shit out of Frank Stronach for his crazy ways, but let me tell you, he makes you proud to be a Canadian down here today."

Mr. Mills, a 16-year Toronto member of Parliament who lost in the 2004 general election to New Democratic Leader Jack Layton, is an organizational legend whose triumphs include helping to bring Pope John Paul II to Canada for World Youth Day and the Rolling Stones to Toronto for the successful SARS relief concert.

Mr. Mills immediately began working with FEMA and the Red Cross to cut through the red tape and line up several hundred candidates for the airlift. The first evacuees landed in Montgomery, Ala., where buses picked them up.

"These people were traumatized," Mr. Mills says. "The first planeload of 126 was basically people they'd fished out of the bayou that morning. We had 90-year-olds, kids, pregnant women. We headed straight for Wal-Mart and bought all the food we could carry."

At Palm Beach, local volunteers mobilized to provide medical care and clothes.

"We had psychiatrists putting on bandages," laughs Mr. Mills. "There were Palm Beach women doing the cooking. The clothing they brought to hand out you couldn't believe -- Holt Renfrew stuff. They brought enough for 10,000 people, let alone 300. I felt like doing a complete wardrobe change myself.

"It was the most unbelievable experience. You would have thought there was no colour at all. I feel like I've just witnessed a miracle."

The racetrack training facilities are scheduled to be turned over to the horse world in November, and by then Mr. Stronach and Mr. Mills hope to have a suitable location for the promised new community. The thinking at the moment is that the victims would all wish to return to Louisiana, but Mr. Stronach says the decision will be largely left to them.

Mr. Stronach is also willing to talk to them about making it an extended community that could evolve into a permanent new residence for those now in South Florida. He thinks it might be possible to house as many as 1,000 of the hurricane survivors on a plot of land on higher ground and has already asked staff to look into such matters as farming, as well as the creation of an educational facility that could bring entrepreneurship to the community.

"Helping people, feeding and shelter, that's the easy part," Mr. Stronach says. "The challenging part is what do we do to get them back on their feet again."

Mr. Stronach has already quietly gone down this route in Baltimore, home of Pimlico, another of Magna's large thoroughbred racetracks.

Struck by the poverty surrounding the historic site, Mr. Stronach has turned an abandoned school with extensive grounds into a modern technical school. He then searched through Magna for a bright young manager who happened to be both black and from Baltimore and could be talked into leaving auto parts to run an educational facility. The school -- aimed at teaching entrepreneurship and technical skills to those who might otherwise drop out of school -- has its official opening this month.

Mr. Stronach's hope is to encourage other successful corporations to become more directly involved, whether through education or, in the case of the South Florida project, a quick response to such tragedies as the hurricane devastation in Louisiana.

"We create a role model," he says, "and, hopefully, other companies will see what can be done.

"We are committed to seeing this through to the end."



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 100 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (09:30) * 9 lines 
 
Private initiative seems to be making far more headway than the government, but I do keep hearing stories of people/companies being denied access to help. Wal-Mart's doing a great job too. Saw a clip about a very small (and below-median income) Kentucky town named Hazard that put together a four-semi-tractor/trailer truck convoy of supplies and drove them to La.

Louisiana has hired the former FEMA chief James Lee Witt to be THE state official. Bet he totally runs the show from now on. Somebody does and the current FEMA doesn't have any competence.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/04/AR2005090401169.html

Good article in the Miami Herald about the destruction of FEMA:

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/12569332.htm


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 101 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (09:47) * 8 lines 
 
List of stories on FEMA

FEMA won't accept Amtrak's help in evacuations
FEMA turns away experienced firefighters
FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks
FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel
FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food
FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 102 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (10:30) * 1 lines 
 
For some unknown reason, Terry has opened up another topic about Katrina. To avoid confusion--with postings from here, there and everywhere--please keep your discussion here, on Topic 101. It'll all be in the same place then.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 103 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (12:33) * 28 lines 
 
The second topic is for the media responses and articles.

Sean Penn gets into rescue act
BY NICOLE BODE

NEW ORLEANS - Sean Penn took matters into his own hands yesterday,
launching a boat in a personal effort to rescue New Orleans families
stranded by Hurricane Katrina.

The Oscar-winning actor and political activist managed to reach
several people who had been trapped in their homes since the hurricane
hit Monday.

Penn, who was accompanied by his personal photographer and a crew of
helpers, brought the victims to dry land - and gave them cash as well.

Johnnie Brown, 73, a retired custodian, called his sister on a cell
phone after being plucked from his flooded house. "Guess who come and
got me out of the house? Sean Penn the actor. Them boys were really
nice," he said.

Penn later accompanied a few of them to a hospital.

Asked what he was doing in the disaster zone, Penn said, "Whatever I
can do to help."

More:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/story/343547p-293308c.html


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 104 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (20:36) * 56 lines 
 
Yes, this is my (*cough*) competent, (*cough*) compassionate (*cough*) leader in action....


Newsview: White House Falls Out of Step
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Bush White House is known for its ability to remain in control of its message and image, sliding out of crises with barely a scratch. Not this time.

Despite day after day of appearances by President Bush aimed at undoing the political damage from a poor response to Hurricane Katrina, the White House has not been able to regain its footing, already shaken by the war in Iraq and a death toll exceeding 1,880.

The administration on Tuesday struggled to deflect calls for an accounting of who was responsible for a hurricane response that even Bush acknowledged was inadequate. There were increasing calls for the resignation or firing of Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"I think it's clear we're in damage control now," said Norman Ornstein, political analyst at the American Enterprise Institute think tank.

It's a troubling position for Bush, already suffering the lowest approval ratings of his presidency.

The mistakes have come one upon the other.

Even as Katrina was bearing down on the Gulf Coast that Sunday night and early Monday, Aug. 28-29, and the
National Hurricane Center was warning of growing danger, the White House didn't alter the president's plans to fly from his Texas ranch to the West to promote a new Medicare prescription drug benefit.

By the time Bush landed in Arizona that Monday, the storm was unleashing its fury on Louisiana and Mississippi. The president inserted into his speech only a brief promise of prayers and federal help.

He continued his schedule in California, and he didn't decide until the next day that he should return to Washington. But it took him another day to get there, as he flew back to Texas to spend another night at his home before leaving for the White House.

Once the president was in Washington, the criticism only intensified.

While a drowned New Orleans descended into lawless misery, Bush delivered remarks from the Rose Garden that were seen as flat and corporate. It was a sharp contrast to the commanding, empathetic president the public rallied around in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In a television interview, Bush said β€” mistakenly β€” that nobody anticipated the breach of the levees in a serious storm.

Even Monday's trip to the region was a redo, hurriedly arranged by the White House over the weekend after lukewarm response to Bush's first in-person visit to the Gulf Coast last Friday.

Bush had raised eyebrows on his first trip by, among other things, picking Sen. Trent Lott (news, bio, voting record), R-Miss. β€” instead of the thousands of mostly poor and black storm victims β€” as an example of loss. "Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house β€” he's lost his entire house β€” there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch," Bush said with a laugh from an airplane hangar in Mobile, Ala. [Ed. note- He's such a card, isn't he? :-(]

In the same remarks, Bush gave FEMA chief Brown β€” the face for many of the inadequate federal response β€” a hearty endorsement. "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," Bush said. [Ed. note- Should be getting his Freedom Medal any day now. ;-)]

Later in Biloxi, Miss., Bush tried to comfort two stunned women wandering their neighborhood clutching Hefty bags, looking in vain for something to salvage from the rubble of their home. He kept insisting they could find help at a Salvation Army center down the street, even after another bystander had informed him it had been destroyed. [Ed. note - Oops!]

And at his last stop that day, at the airport outside of New Orleans, Bush lauded the increasingly desperate city as a great town because he used go there and "enjoy myself β€” occasionally too much."

Unlike his galvanizing appearance in the rubble of the World Trade Center just days after the 2001 attacks, Bush has stayed far from the epicenter of New Orleans' suffering. His only foray into the city was to its edges to watch crews plugging one of the breached levees on Friday.

On Monday, he skipped the hardest-hit coastal areas entirely, choosing instead to visit Baton Rouge, the state capital about 80 miles northwest of New Orleans, which sustained no damage. He also went to Poplarville, Miss., to walk the streets of a middle-class neighborhood that seemed to suffer little more than snapped trees, a couple off-kilter carport roofs and a downed power line or two.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the president avoided New Orleans to stay out of the way of search-and-rescue operations.

"It's going to be almost impossible to overcome the perception about the president that he didn't show compassion and didn't get control of the policy failures," American University political scientist James Thurber said. "The vivid images that are coming across the television are really destroying his image as a leader." [Pfft! What image would that be?]

White House counselor Dan Bartlett said the president and his aides are unconcerned for now about the unrelenting criticism.

"Emotions are running high. People are tired," Bartlett said. "If we focused more of our attention on decisions that have already been made, rather than on those before us, there's potential for making far greater mistakes. ... We really don't have time to play the political game right now." [It has nothing to do with politics. It has to do with the *leader* of our/a country stepping up to take control and manage a crisis, as well as showing some compassion to fellow human beings from all walks of life, especially those most affected, the much less fortunate.]
___

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jennifer Loven has reported from Washington since 1993 and covers the White House for The Associated Press.



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 105 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (22:29) * 34 lines 
 
Holy cow...* trying to stifle inappropriate laughter*


Right city, wrong state
FEMA accused of flying evacuees to wrong Charleston
Tuesday, September 6, 2005; Posted: 9:56 p.m. EDT (01:56 GMT)

story.charleston.ap.jpg
Dr. Robert Ball, right, waits for evacuees to arrive Tuesday at a Charleston, South Carolina airport.

(CNN) -- Add geography to the growing list of FEMA fumbles.

A South Carolina health official said his colleagues scrambled Tuesday when FEMA gave only a half-hour notice to prepare for the arrival of a plane carrying as many as 180 evacuees to Charleston.

But the plane, instead, landed in Charleston, West Virginia, 400 miles away.

It was not known whether arrangements have been made to care for the evacuees or transport them to the correct destination.

A call seeking comment from FEMA was not immediately returned.

"We called in all the available resources," said Dr. John Simkovich, director of public health for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

"They responded within 30 minutes, which is phenomenal, to meet the needs of the citizens coming in from Louisiana," he said.

Simkovich said that the agency had described some of the evacuees as needing "some minor treatment ... possibly some major treatment."

"Unfortunately, the plane did not come in," Simkovich said. "There was a mistake in the system, coming out through FEMA, that we did not receive the aircraft this afternoon. It went to Charleston, West Virginia."

A line of buses and ambulances idled behind him at Charleston International Airport as he described what happened.

"This is a 'no event' for today," Simkovich said.





 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 106 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Thu, Sep  8, 2005 (17:11) * 12 lines 
 
Bush had raised eyebrows on his first trip by, among other things, picking Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss. instead of the thousands of mostly poor and black storm victims as an example of loss. "Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house β€” he's lost his entire house β€” there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch," Bush said with a laugh from an airplane hangar in Mobile, Ala. [Ed. note- He's such a card, isn't he? :-(]

I missed this. OMG, could he be worse? Yeah, I suppose so. But think about poor Trent Lott, one of the "don't call'm refugee" hurricane folk.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the president avoided New Orleans to stay out of the way of search-and-rescue operations.
Sure. I'm dumb and I'll believe that one.

White House counselor Dan Bartlett said the president and his aides are uncncerned for now about the unrelenting criticism.
It's important to be consistent. They've been "unconcerned" about me (women) forever.





 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 107 of 118: Mari Fulginiti  (mari) * Thu, Sep  8, 2005 (21:34) * 16 lines 
 
Did anyone see Jay Leno Wednesday night? Was in rare form during his monologue. Some bits:

Q: What's the difference between FEMA and Social Security?
A: With Social Security, you have a chance to get some benefits before you die.

Officials in the hurricane-stricken areas are considering re-naming the Gulf of Mexico, the Persian Gulf II, in the hopes that Bush will send troops much faster.

Dick Cheney is headed to the stricken area--boy, just what they need, another person requiring emergency medical help.

The Vice President pledged to stay in the area until all oil derricks are safe.

FEMA will be handing out $2,00 vouchers to each affected family, which they can use however they wish, for example, food, shelter, a tank of gas.

Michael Jackson announced that he will perform a benefit concert for residents of the area. He said, "If I can touch just one child . . ."




 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 108 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Sep  9, 2005 (08:19) * 25 lines 
 
The Daily Show, returning from vacation, is in rare form also. John Stewart did one of the best chronologies I've seen of Bush taking several days to get off his vacation. It was reminiscent of the Michael Moore movie Fahrenheit 911 where he showed Bush hesitating to act after 911. Of course this response was so much slower and bungled.

http://dailykos.com has some excellent comments today. Worth a read.

An example. (it gets even better)

Everybody who failed to respond properly to Hurricane Katrina (or "Corrina," as Laura Bush called it yesterday), line up and prepare to take your punishment from Soja Popova:

A 93-year-old woman with a "grip like iron" fought back against a robber by grabbing him by the testicles.

The Lithuanian woman, who says her strong grip [comes from] years of milking goats, held on to the man until police arrived.

Soja Popova, from Klaipeda, was shoved to the ground when she opened the door to two young men. But she fought back by grabbing the nearest by the testicles and squeezing "with all my force as hard as I could."

She told police: "He started screaming like an animal and his friend was trying to pull him free, but I have a grip like iron." The man's screams of agony and his friend's shouts for the woman to let go alerted neighbors, who called police.

Brown, Chertoff, Bush...drop your drawers.

-

Jon Stewart: The president has vowed to personally lead the investigation into the government's failed response to Katrina? Isn't that a job perhaps someone else should be doing?
Samantha Bee: No, not at all, Jon. To truly find out what went wrong, it's important for an investigator to have a little distance from the situation. And it's hard to get any more distant from it than the president was last week.

--The Daily Show



 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 109 of 118: Karen  (KarenR) * Sat, Sep 10, 2005 (00:31) * 62 lines 
 
FEMA Dumps Brown As Katrina Relief Chief By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer

30 minutes ago


WASHINGTON - The Bush administration dumped FEMA Director Michael Brown as commander of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts Friday, then abruptly scrapped plans to give $2,000 debit cards to displaced storm victims as it struggled to get a grip on the recovery operation.

Buffeted by criticism, President Bush stirred memories of the 2001 terror attacks as he hailed the "acts of great compassion and extraordinary bravery from America's first responders," then as now.

Brown, who had come to personify a relief operation widely panned as bumbling, will be replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen. Allen had been in charge of relief, recovery and rescue efforts for New Orleans.

The decision to order Brown back to Washington from Louisiana — he remains as director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency — marked the administration's latest attempt to assert leadership in the wake of the devastating storm and its aftermath, including the weakest public opinion polls of Bush's time in office.

Still, there was fresh evidence of raggedness in the effort when FEMA announced late in the day that it would discontinue a two-day-old program to issue debit cards worth $2,000 to displaced families. Evacuees relocated to Texas, many of whom began receiving cards on Friday, will continue getting them, officials said.

Hurricane victims at other locations will have to apply for expedited aid through the agency's traditional route — filling out information on FEMA's Web site to receive direct bank deposits, FEMA spokeswoman Natalie Rule said.

Brown introduced the program on Wednesday, calling it "a great way to ... empower these hurricane survivors to really start rebuilding their lives."

At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan said the decision to reassign Brown had been made by Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and that Bush supported it.

One Republican welcomed Brown's ouster with unusually sharp language. "Something needed to happen. Michael Brown has been acting like a private instead of a general," said Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, whose state was hard-hit by the storm.

Senate Democrats, who have been sharply critical of Bush's response to the storm, said the president should not have left Brown as head of FEMA. In a letter to the president, the Democratic leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, and three other members of the leadership called for the dismissal of the FEMA director.

He "simply doesn't have the ability or the experience to oversee a coordinated federal response of this magnitude," wrote Reid and Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chuck Schumer of New York and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan.

Separately, Reid and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist opened private discussions over a GOP plan for a congressional committee to investigate the administration's readiness for the storm and reaction to it.

Republicans hold a majority in both the House and Senate, and Frist and Speaker Dennis Hastert announced plans this week for a joint panel with more GOP members than Democrats. Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi have said they would boycott the proceedings, calling for an independent commission instead.

Bush's public support rose dramatically in the days following the attacks of 2001. He linked that time with the present at a ceremony Friday awarding medals to family members of fire, police and other first responders killed by terrorists four years ago.

"When America has been challenged, there have always been citizens willing to step forward and risk their lives for the rest of us," the president said. "Over the last 11 days in Louisiana and Mississippi and Alabama, we have again seen acts of great compassion and extraordinary bravery from America's first responders."

Bush said the nation was "still at the beginning of a huge effort. The tasks before us are enormous. Yet so is the heart of the United States."

Thus far, the tab for federal relief has reached $62.3 billion, with billions more expected to be needed in the months and years to come.

The rising price tag spread nervousness among some lawmakers. Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., touring a shelter for evacuees in Chattanooga, said the combined cost of recovery and the Iraq War were a good reason to postpone a costly Medicare prescription drug benefit.

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said mere reconstruction of a Gulf Coast area that is home to large numbers of poor black Americans wasn't enough. "When we rebuild the land ravaged by the winds and the floods, we must rebuild it to be a more just and fair land," he said.

The government continued to produce reports and declarations testifying to the destructive power of the storm that roared out of the Gulf of Mexico and spread destruction along the coast from Texas to Florida.

The Commerce Department declared a fishery failure in the region, an action that makes federal relief funds available to assess and repair damage to fisheries. Fishermen will be eligible for direct assistance, as well.

Brown had faced fierce, bipartisan criticism for days, and on Friday, was confronted with questions of whether he had padded his professional resume.

Chertoff announced his fate to reporters in Louisiana, saying, the director had "done everything he possibly could to coordinate the federal response to this unprecedented challenge."

Asked if he was being made a scapegoat, Brown told The Associated Press after a long pause: "By the press, yes. By the president, no."

As for his plans, he said, "I'm going to go home and walk my dog and hug my wife, and maybe get a good Mexican meal and a stiff margarita and a full night's sleep.

"And then I'm going to go right back to FEMA and continue to do all I can to help these victims."

Allen, tapped to replace Brown, has direct experience in hurricane relief operations.

Early in his Coast Guard career, Allen was involved in search-and-rescue missions and later directed them in the Caribbean. He headed Coast Guard operations in the Southeast United States and the Caribbean.

In the days after the 2001 terrorist attacks, he was assigned to make sure the ports and waterways were secure and that local responders in the New York area had the vessels, aircraft and personnel they needed.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 110 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Sep 23, 2005 (16:47) * 4 lines 
 
"When the hurricane struck, it did not turn [the Gulf Coast] into a
third-world country. It revealed one."
- DANNY GLOVER, in New York City, at Saturday's Jazz at Lincoln Center
"Higher Ground" benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 111 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sat, Sep 24, 2005 (11:25) * 3 lines 
 
I know I sent this to several people...glad to know that this topic is still operational.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9368952/
Apparently Mr. Broussard was a little bit confused in his scenario.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 112 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Sat, Sep 24, 2005 (11:32) * 3 lines 
 
She was in *that* nursing home. Disgraceful.
Ok, the timeline was off. It was still incredibly tragic and I'd like to see those owners fry.
And he was still obviously under a lot of pressure.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 113 of 118: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Sat, Sep 24, 2005 (14:29) * 2 lines 
 
Actually, later they found she died the day of the storm from natural causes.
V. sad.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 114 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep 26, 2005 (22:55) * 51 lines 
 
As one poster alludes to, the Daily Show couldn't make this shit up...or could have and was beaten to the punch. ;-)

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/26/184830/683

(This is an excerpt)

Guess Who's a New FEMA Consultant
by lost
Mon Sep 26th, 2005 at 15:48:30 PDT

[From the diaries -- Hunter Update [2005-9-26 21:56:30 by Hunter]: CBS updates: "Later this evening, CBS News correspondent Gloria Borger spoke with a spokesman for FEMA, Russ Knocke, who confirmed that Brown remains on the FEMA payroll. He also said that technically Brown remains at FEMA as a 'contractor' and he is 'transitioning out of his job.' The reason he will remain at FEMA about a month after his resignation, said the spokesman, is that the agency wants to get the 'proper download of his experience.'"]

Mike Brown. Yeah, that Mike Brown. He's been hired by the agency as a consultant.

Bob Scheiffer announced this on CBS News moments ago, stating that Brown annouced his re-hiring to congressional staffers. Guess what he'll be in charge of? SIGH. He will help evaluate how FEMA responded to the disaster.

I wish I were making this up.

Link to CBS News Blog below.

* lost's diary :: ::
*

Update [2005-9-26 19:38:0 by lost]: Thanks to theboz and all the other Kossacks for this link to the CBS Rita Blog.

Sept. 26, 2005

6:44 p.m.

(CBS) — CBS News correspondent Gloria Borger reports that Michael Brown, who recently resigned as the head of the FEMA, has been rehired by the agency as a consultant to evaluate it's response following Hurricane Katrina.

Update [2005-9-26 20:6:40 by lost]:karmatipjar posted the link to Keith Olbermann's blog about Brownie's "new job":

At a meeting with staff of the special House committee looking into Katrina preparations today, the disgraced and displaced former FEMA director said he had rejoined the agency as a consultant to "provide a review" of how the agency functioned before, during, and after the storm. This according to two congressional sources.

A congressional aide told NBC News nobody's sure — but it is assumed Brown is being paid by FEMA. He is to testify tomorrow before that House committee, prompting our colleague Howard Fineman to joke that only in Washington would a man on his way to the electric chair be paid to belt himself in.

Update [2005-9-26 20:36:41 by lost]: In the interest of full disclosure, miholo alerted us to this AP story which contains this information:

Brown is continuing to work at the Federal Emergency Management Agency at full pay, with his Sept. 12 resignation not taking effect for two more weeks, said Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke.

During that time, Brown will advise the department on "some of his views on his experience with Katrina," as he transitions out of his job, Knocke said.

...which seems to indicate that Brown is merely continuing to do whatever the hell it is he did before until he can pack it in.

To cont...
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/9/26/184830/683






 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 115 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Oct  5, 2005 (10:48) * 48 lines 
 
Eased out of the Big Easy

By Jesse Jackson

Chicago Sun-Times - October 4, 2005


After his administration's incompetence and
indifference had lethal consequences in Katrina's wake,
President Bush has been scrambling to regain his
footing. He's called for an "unprecedented response to
an unprecedented crisis." In religious services at the
National Cathedral, he called on America to "erase this
legacy of racism" exposed by those abandoned in
Katrina's wake. He's called on Congress to appropriate
more than $60 billion in emergency relief and outlined
a recovery program likely to cost up to $200 billion,
or nearly as much as the Iraq War.

All this has led the press to compare his plans to
Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal or Lyndon Johnson's Great
Society. Don't fall for it. A close look at the Bush
plan reveals that this is a bad deal from a deck
stacked against the poor who suffered the most in
Katrina's wake.

The first clue came from Bush's first act. He issued
orders erasing the prevailing wage for work on
rebuilding the Gulf, and his administration gave
Halliburton a lucrative no-bid contract to begin the
work. Then he designated Alabama, Mississippi and
Louisiana an enterprise zone, and, using emergency
authority, waived all worker protections in the region
-- protections for equal employment, for minority
contractors, for health and safety, for environmental
protection.

We're learning that when Bush promised to remove the
legacy of racism in New Orleans, he meant he'd remove
the poor who were victims of that racism. Bush's
secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Alphonso
Jackson, revealed that to the Houston Chronicle.



More:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/jesse/cst-edt-jesse04.html


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 116 of 118: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sat, Dec  3, 2005 (10:46) * 25 lines 
 
Life flickers in dark New Orleans
By Matthew Davis

Hurricane Katrina turned New Orleans into a post-apocalyptic city, a
scene out of a Hollywood disaster movie. Three months on, what has
changed?

Parts of central New Orleans look almost normal. The traffic has
returned, businessmen in suits meet in restaurants, Starbucks is open
for cappuccinos.

You can feel the return of order by the re-opened boutiques, the
police cars out on patrol and by the fact that no one is driving the
wrong way down the freeways any more.

At night, Cajun music drifts out of the French Quarter, and on Bourbon
Street the dancing girls entertain customers in neon-lit bars.

But the darkness also reveals just where "normal" ends.

Vast swathes of New Orleans are still unlit and uninhabitable -
"nuked" as residents say.

More:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4484070.stm


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 117 of 118: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Tue, Aug 29, 2006 (23:44) * 6 lines 
 
I highly recommend the new Spike Lee documentary on HBO, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in 4 Acts."
http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/whentheleveesbroke/?ntrack_para1=feat_main_image

It's 4 parts on the Katrina disaster and history of NO among other things.

There's more I want to say about it and would like to go back to update on comments said here last year, but too sleepy now.


 Topic 101 of 108 [news]: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans
 Response 118 of 118: newshound (cfadm) * Mon, Sep 11, 2006 (09:53) * 1 lines 
 
I saw that on tivo... I'll mark it for recording. Right now there's such a barrage of 911 tv specials.

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