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Topic 103 of 108: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans

Mon, Sep 5, 2005 (07:54) | Paul Terry Walhus (terry)
Unlike Iraq coverage, it is more difficult for the guvmint to control and spin the coverage coming out of New Orleans, Mississippi, and Alabama in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Even Fox News, has been highly critical of the response over the first four days, which has been slow to nonexistent on the part of the Feds.
75 responses total.

 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 1 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (07:54) * 23 lines 
 
Flood-control funds short of requests
By Andrew Martin and Andrew Zajac

WASHINGTON -- Despite continuous warnings that a catastrophic
hurricane could hit New Orleans, the Bush administration and Congress
in recent years have repeatedly denied full funding for hurricane
preparation and flood control.

That has delayed construction of levees around the city and stymied an
ambitious project to improve drainage in New Orleans' neighborhoods.

For instance, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested $27 million
for this fiscal year to pay for hurricane-protection projects around
Lake Pontchartrain. The Bush administration countered with $3.9
million, and Congress eventually provided $5.7 million, according to
figures provided by the office of U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

Because of the shortfalls, which were caused in part by the rising
costs of the war in Iraq, the corps delayed seven contracts that
included enlarging the levees, according to corps documents.

More:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0509010170sep01,1,5853346.story


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 2 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (07:57) * 12 lines 
 
http://www.livejournal.com/users/interdictor/

also at http://mgno.com/

is a newsy blog from a guy who, to this day, remains on the scene in New
Orleans from his perch in a downtown office building. Well supplied by a
generator, he is cranking out voluminous reports on a daily basis and he
has a webcam showing his office. He was getting hugs from a woman sharing
his chair when I flipped it on the other night.

The Internet stays alive in his building in the midst of all the chaos.



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 3 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (07:58) * 29 lines 
 
From former NYT editor Howell Raines:

the hurricane blew away entire towns in coastal Mississippi is very
much his father's son. George H.W. Bush couldn't quite connect to the
victims of Hurricane Andrew, nor did he mind being photographed tooling
his golf cart around Kennebunkport while American troops died in the
first Iraq war. After preemptively declaring a state of emergency, the
younger Bush seemed equally determined to show his successors how to
vacation through an apocalypse.

On Tuesday, he urged people to stay where they were, even if their
evacuation residence might be the leaking-roof, clogged-toilet
Superdome. On Wednesday, as he met by intercom with his emergency team
and decided to return to Washington, as Pentagon and Homeland Security
promised relief by the weekend, intensive-care patients were dying at
Charity Hospital in New Orleans. They had languished for two full days
because the overworked Coast Guard helicopter crews available in New
Orleans did not have time to reach them.

The populism of Huey Long was financially corrupt, but when it came to
the welfare of people, it was caring. The churchgoing cultural
populism of George Bush has given the United States an administration
that worries about the House of Saud and the welfare of oil companies
while the poor drown in their attics and their sons and daughters die
in foreign deserts.>

Source:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-raines1sep01,0,7077142.story


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 4 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:01) * 5 lines 
 
Live National Guard radio ops in NOLA via this link:

http://216.22.26.45:8002/listen.pls

May require winamp.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 5 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:03) * 10 lines 
 
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001051313

"Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a
trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending
pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at
the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At
least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005
specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of
hurricane- and flood-control dollars...."



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 6 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:05) * 5 lines 
 
Great blog from the scene:

http://dancingwithkatrina.blogspot.com/




 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 7 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:06) * 36 lines 
 
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0901-01.htm

Published on Thursday, September 1, 2005 by Knight-Ridder
Federal Government Wasn't Ready for Katrina, Disaster Experts Say
The slow response to Katrina and poor federal leadership is a replay
of 1992's mishandling of Hurricane Andrew

by Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON - The federal government so far has bungled the job of
quickly helping the multitudes of hungry, thirsty and desperate victims
of Hurricane Katrina, former top federal, state and local disaster
chiefs said Wednesday.



What you're seeing is revealing weaknesses in the state, local and
federal levels. All three levels have been weakened. They've been
weakened by diversion into terrorism.

former Bush administration disaster response manager Eric Tolbert
The experts, including a former Bush administration disaster response
manager, told Knight Ridder that the government wasn't prepared,
scrimped on storm spending and shifted its attention from dealing with
natural disasters to fighting the global war on terrorism.

The disaster preparedness agency at the center of the relief effort is
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which was enveloped by
the new Department of Homeland Security with a new mission aimed at
responding to the attacks of al-Qaida.

"What you're seeing is revealing weaknesses in the state, local and
federal levels," said Eric Tolbert, who until February was FEMA's
disaster response chief. "All three levels have been weakened. They've
been weakened by diversion into terrorism."



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 8 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:08) * 7 lines 
 
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0901-26.htm

One of the main reasons New Orleans is so vulnerable to hurricanes is the gradual disappearance of the wetlands on the Gulf Coast that once stood as a natural buffer between the city and storms coming in from the water. The disappearance of those wetlands does not have the name of a political party or a particular administration attached to it. No one wants to play, "The Democrats did it," or, "It's all Reagan's fault." Many environmentalists will tell you more than a century's interference with the natural flow of the Mississippi is the root cause of the problem, cutting off the movement of alluvial soil to the river's delta.

But in addition to long-range consequences of long-term policies like letting the Corps of Engineers try to build a better river than God, there are real short-term consequences, as well. It is a fact that the Clinton administration set some tough policies on wetlands, and it is a fact that the Bush administration repealed those policies--ordering federal agencies to stop protecting as many as 20 million acres of wetlands.

- Molly Ivins


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 9 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:09) * 9 lines 
 
One lasting lesson that has to be drawn from the Gulf Coast's misery
is that from now on, the National Guard must be treated as America's
most essential homeland security force, not as some kind of military
piggy bank for the Pentagon to raid for long-term overseas missions.
America clearly needs a larger active-duty Army. It just as clearly
needs a homeland-based National Guard that's fully prepared and ready
for any domestic emergency.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/02/opinion/02fri1.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 10 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:11) * 18 lines 
 
Vice President Cheney, who has spent part of August at his home
outside scenic Jackson, Wyo., remains there today -- although his
spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, doesn't call it vacation.

"He's working from Wyoming today," McBride told me this morning.

So what is his day like in Jackson? Any fly-fishing on the Snake River
during his work day?

"He's already had his morning briefings," McBride said. "He'll have
some other internal staff meetings." Beyond that, McBride said, she
would have to check and get back to me. I missed her call back but will
try to reach her again.

And when is he coming back? "He will certainly be coming back. I'm not
able to tell you the day right now. I don't have that handy."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2005/08/31/BL2005083101127_5.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 11 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:11) * 30 lines 
 
Networks Won't Retreat From Graphic Coverage

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - While pledging to exercise taste,
television news executives said they won't shy away from showing
graphic pictures of the grim aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

On Thursday, several outlets -- including NBC, Fox News and CNN --
showed video of people who had died not during the storm but in the
days following the hurricane. They included pictures of two people
covered in sheets who had passed away outside the convention center in
downtown New Orleans, where tens of thousands of people waited for food
and water. One, in a wheelchair, held a note with next-of-kin
information.

At the same time, networks passed on showing the full picture of what
had happened, particularly at the convention center. NBC News
photojournalist Tony Zumbado captured video of the dead and dying that
was so graphic that neither NBC News nor MSNBC would air it.

``I thought I'd seen it all, but I've never seen anything like this,''
Zumbado said on ``NBC Nightly News.'' Zumbado told MSNBC anchor Alison
Stewart that there were dead bodies everywhere, including two babies
who had died of dehydration.

In a report earlier Thursday, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith stood on
Interstate 10 amid the devastation and, in one shot, showed the covered
body of a man who was dead alongside the highway.

More:
http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/arts/entertainment-katrina-graphic.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 12 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:13) * 25 lines 
 
FEMA chief: Victims bear some responsibility
Brown pleased with effort: 'Things are going relatively well'

Thursday, September 1, 2005; Posted: 11:41 p.m. EDT (03:41 GMT)

CNN) -- The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said
Thursday those New Orleans residents who chose not to heed warnings to
evacuate before Hurricane Katrina bear some responsibility for their
fates.

Michael Brown also agreed with other public officials that the death
toll in the city could reach into the thousands.

"Unfortunately, that's going to be attributable a lot to people who
did not heed the advance warnings," Brown told CNN.

"I don't make judgments about why people chose not to leave but, you
know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans," he said.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/01/katrina.fema.brown/index.html

Federal officials who chose not to heed warnings about flood walls
breaking and vulnerability need to bear some responsibility also.





 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 13 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:14) * 5 lines 
 
http://weblog.burningbird.net/archives/2005/09/01/a-will-and-a-big-water/



This is a sweet, sweet essay. Recommended read.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 14 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:15) * 7 lines 
 
from the above cited essay.

Here’s a prediction: come March, 2006, with our help, the towns along the coast will rebuild. A home will replace rubble, and a church will open its doors again. With our care, the bodies will be buried, and those who have suffered loss will be comforted. With our force, we will overcome those who grab gun and seek to cause fear (and in the process find that the ‘gangs’ become ‘groups’ and the groups are fewer than our lurid speculations imply). With our support, the casinos and businesses along the coast of Mississippi will be in full swing, and folks will be back at work. And with our hard work and sacrifice, the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans will be the best. Ever.

The city is destroyed. What foolish nonsense. You know, the people that wrote this, they really don’t know the South, and the people who live by big water.

Shelley


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 15 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:16) * 7 lines 
 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/09/20050902-2.html

"Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house -- he's lost his entire house --
there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on
the porch. (Laughter.)"

Give me a break.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 16 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:17) * 3 lines 
 
Mayor Nagin on Air America. This was (is) pivotal.

http://a901.g.akamai.net/7/901/13186/v002/airamerica.download.akamai.com/13186/aarplace/media/Nagin.mp3


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 17 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:18) * 4 lines 
 
http://www.hurricanehousing.org/

127,136 beds volunteered so far!



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 18 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:20) * 2 lines 
 




 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 19 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:21) * 13 lines 
 
"Friday's evacuations began at about 9 a.m., halted for about an hour
and then resumed two hours later. At midday, the evacuation was
interrupted briefly when school buses rolled up so some 700 guests and
employees from the Hyatt Hotel could move to the head of the line to
be evacuatedb much to the amazement of those who had been crammed in
the stinking Superdome since Sunday.

"How does this work? They (are) clean, they are dry, they get out
ahead of us?" exclaimed Howard Blue, 22, who tried to get in their
line. The National Guard made him get back in with the unwashed masses
as other guardsmen helped the well-dressed guests with their luggage."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/09/02/national/a102443D45.DTL&feed=rss.news


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 20 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:21) * 12 lines 
 
The people who chartered a bus were from the Astor Crowne Plaza. When
the buses were commandeered by FEMA those tourists were told to go the
convention center. For reasons I don't understand they instead
tred to cross a bridge, were turned away by the police -- and
fired on -- and spent the night huddled under a freeway overpass.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/02/AR2005090200275_2.html

The tourists who got moved to the front of the line at the superdome
were from the Hyatt. There is no explanation why they were so special.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/09/02/national/a102443D45.DTL&feed=rss.news


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 21 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:21) * 11 lines 
 
Our institutions completely failed us and it is not as if it is the
first in the past three years -- this follows Abu Ghraib, the failure of
planning in Iraq, the intelligence failures, the corporate scandals, the
media scandals.
...
Look at him today earlier in the program, this is how Mark Shields must
feel looking at [Bush], I'm angry at the guy and maybe it will pass for
me. But a lot of people and a lot of Republicans are furious right
now.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/political_wrap/july-dec05/bop_9-2.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 22 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:22) * 23 lines 
 

Kanye West Slams Bush In Live Telethon

During NBC's live broadcast of Concert for Hurricane Relief rapper
Kanye West, in what appeared to be an impromptu address, told viewers
that National Guardsmen were given the unfair order to shoot at
African-Americans on the streets of New Orleans.

In a stumbling, yet defiant statement, West proclaimed that when
African-Americans were caught stealing in New Orleans, they were called
looters. However when whites were caught, they were just feeding their
families.

He was joined by former Saturday Night Live star Mike Myers, who
returned to the script, and seemed frustrated by the the rapper's
remarks.

West then declared "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
Before the rapper could complete his statement, NBC producers cut away.


More:
http://www.kget.com/entertainment/story.aspx?content_id=0E71260D-B9E0-4A4A-8621-7A101016AA7A


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 23 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:22) * 6 lines 
 
"If we can't respond faster than this to an event we saw coming across
the Gulf for days, then why do we think we're prepared to respond to a
nuclear or biological attack?" asked former House Speaker Newt
Gingrich, a Republican.

http://www.wwltv.com/sharedcontent/nationworld/katrina/stories/090205ccKatrinawcBushrelief.1a575c4e.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 24 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:22) * 3 lines 
 
Analysis: Can this actually be happening in America?
http://www.wwltv.com/topstories/stories/wwl090205litke.1c58ed95.html



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 25 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:23) * 9 lines 
 
from the above cite:

Here.

Authorities can't make the waters that did that retreat. They can't begin to rebuild the levee or the homes and businesses made uninhabitable, at least not now. They will never be able to restore much of what was washed away in the flood. But if a reporter can interview a man standing outside a looted drugstore, and record his reluctance at having to go inside and steal pads for incontinence, why couldn't someone get medical supplies to the people huddled at the Superdome or the convention center in time, or the buses promised to evacuate them?

There are more questions than answers, and will be for years to come. That's the nature of disaster, and its aftermath. They expose our fragility, overwhelm our best intentions, mock our attempts to impose the sense of calm and order that prevails when life proceeds according to some rough plan.

Yet, ultimately, that's what is most unsettling about the constant stream of images: The suffering goes on not just for hours, but for days after we should have and could have ended it. And for all the commissions, reports and bravado that passes for preparedness, we didn't. It was a hand we never expected to be dealt.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 26 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:25) * 8 lines 
 
The National Guard is refused to let reporters and photographers into the
Superdome.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050903/ts_nm/mayhem_dc

"It doesn't need to be seen, it's a make-shift morgue in there," he told a
Reuters photographer. "We're not letting anyone in there anymore. If you
want to take pictures of dead bodies, go to Iraq.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 27 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:26) * 39 lines 
 
http://www.redcross.org/faq/0,1096,0_682_4524,00.html#4524


Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?

* Access to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local
authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply
cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.

* The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to
request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans
following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating
and encourage others to come into the city.

* The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans
residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and
elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today
operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.

* The Red Cross shares the nation's anguish over the worsening situation
inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the
military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our
lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.

* The Red Cross does not conduct search and rescue operations. We are an
organization of civilian volunteers and cannot get relief aid into any
location until the local authorities say it is safe and provide us with
security and access.

* The original plan was to evacuate all the residents of New Orleans to
safe places outside the city. With the hurricane bearing down, the city
government decided to open a shelter of last resort in the Superdome
downtown. We applaud this decision and believe it saved a significant
number of lives.

* As the remaining people are evacuated from New Orleans, the most
appropriate role for the Red Cross is to provide a safe place for people
to stay and to see that their emergency needs are met. We are fully
staffed and equipped to handle these individuals once they are evacuated.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 28 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:26) * 13 lines 
 

"The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been accused of being so
concerned about the possibility of a terrorist attack that it failed to
prepare properly for a much more inevitable natural disaster.

After the authorities in Baton Rouge had prepared a field hospital for
victims of the storm, Fema sent its first batch of supplies, all of which
were designed for use against chemical attack, including drugs such as
Cipro, which is designed for use against anthrax. "We called them up and
asked them: 'Why did you send that, and they said that's what it says in
the book'," said a Baton Rouge official."

-- http://www.guardian.co.uk/katrina/story/0,16441,1561909,00.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 29 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:27) * 14 lines 
 
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Americans
must start "asking tough questions" about their safety, a House member
from Louisiana said in the Democrats' weekly radio address.

"We are engaged in a massive effort under difficult circumstances to
save lives and stabilize this crisis so that we may begin to restore
our communities," Rep. Charlie Melancon said. "This is job one."

"We must also be about the job of asking tough questions, my fellow
Americans -- questions about the health of our infrastructure and
emergency response capabilities," Melancon said.

More:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/03/dems.katrina.radio.ap/index.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 30 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:28) * 45 lines 
 
This is a *year old* National Geographic article:

"It was a broiling August afternoon in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Big
Easy, the City That Care Forgot. Those who ventured outside moved as if
they were swimming in tupelo honey. Those inside paid silent homage to
the
man who invented air-conditioning as they watched TV "storm teams" warn
of
a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Nothing surprising there: Hurricanes
in
August are as much a part of life in this town as hangovers on Ash
Wednesday.

But the next day the storm gathered steam and drew a bead on the city. As
the whirling maelstrom approached the coast, more than a million people
evacuated to higher ground. Some 200,000 remained, however--the car-less,
the homeless, the aged and infirm, and those die-hard New Orleanians who
look for any excuse to throw a party.

The storm hit Breton Sound with the fury of a nuclear warhead, pushing a
deadly storm surge into Lake Pontchartrain. The water crept to the top of
the massive berm that holds back the lake and then spilled over. Nearly
80
percent of New Orleans lies below sea level--more than eight feet below
in
places--so the water poured in. A liquid brown wall washed over the brick
ranch homes of Gentilly, over the clapboard houses of the Ninth Ward,
over
the white-columned porches of the Garden District, until it raced through
the bars and strip joints on Bourbon Street like the pale rider of the
Apocalypse. As it reached 25 feet (eight meters) over parts of the city,
people climbed onto roofs to escape it.

Thousands drowned in the murky brew that was soon contaminated by sewage
and industrial waste. Thousands more who survived the flood later
perished
from dehydration and disease as they waited to be rescued. It took two
months to pump the city dry, and by then the Big Easy was buried under a
blanket of putrid sediment, a million people were homeless, and 50,000
were dead. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United
States.

When did this calamity happen? It hasn't -- yet."

http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 31 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:29) * 14 lines 
 
AS THE EXTENT of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation became clearer on Tuesday — millions without power, tens of thousands homeless, a death toll unknowable because rescue crews can’t reach some regions — President Bush carried on with his plans to speak in San Diego, as if nothing important had happened the day before.

Katrina already is measured as one of the worst storms in American history. And yet, President Bush decided that his plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VJ Day with a speech were more pressing than responding to the carnage.

A better leader would have flown straight to the disaster zone and announced the immediate mobilization of every available resource to rescue the stranded, find and bury the dead, and keep the survivors fed, clothed, sheltered and free of disease.

The cool, confident, intuitive leadership Bush exhibited in his first term, particularly in the months immediately following Sept. 11, 2001, has vanished. In its place is a diffident detachment unsuitable for the leader of a nation facing war, natural disaster and economic uncertainty.

Wherever the old George W. Bush went, we sure wish we had him back.

from

http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=59884



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 32 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:30) * 17 lines 
 
New Orleans: A Geopolitical Prize
September 01, 2005 2230 GMT


Editor's Note: This article contained a numerical error as originally published and distributed to readers. The error is corrected in the version below.

By George Friedman

The American political system was founded in Philadelphia, but the American nation was built on the vast farmlands that stretch from the Alleghenies to the Rockies. That farmland produced the wealth that funded American industrialization: It permitted the formation of a class of small landholders who, amazingly, could produce more than they could consume. They could sell their excess crops in the east and in Europe and save that money, which eventually became the founding capital of American industry.

But it was not the extraordinary land nor the farmers and ranchers who alone set the process in motion. Rather, it was geography -- the extraordinary system of rivers that flowed through the Midwest and allowed them to ship their surplus to the rest of the world. All of the rivers flowed into one -- the Mississippi -- and the Mississippi flowed to the ports in and around one city: New Orleans. It was in New Orleans that the barges from upstream were unloaded and their cargos stored, sold and reloaded on ocean-going vessels. Until last Sunday, New Orleans was, in many ways, the pivot of the American economy.

For that reason, the Battle of New Orleans in January 1815 was a key moment in American history. Even though the battle occurred after the War of 1812 was over, had the British taken New Orleans, we suspect they wouldn't have given it back. Without New Orleans, the entire Louisiana Purchase would have been valueless to the United States. Or, to state it more precisely, the British would control the region because, at the end of the day, the value of the Purchase was the land and the rivers - which all converged on the Mississippi and the ultimate port of New Orleans. The hero of the battle was Andrew Jackson, and when he became president, his obsession with Texas had much to do with keeping the Mexicans away from New Orleans.

The fascinating rest of this Stratfor article is at

http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/weekly.php


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 33 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:31) * 11 lines 
 
Computer users are being urged to be on guard for a bogus e-mail that pretends to offer news updates about Hurricane Katrina as a means to infect their PCs.

The malicious e-mail gives a brief news bulletin on the disaster before urging people to click "read more" and be taken to the full story on a website.

Yet once on the website, a reader's computer will receive a virus.

People are also being told to watch out for fraudulent e-mail scams pretending to raise cash for Katrina victims.

more at

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4209182.stm


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 34 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:32) * 40 lines 
 
Rapes, killings hit Katrina refugees in New Orleans
By Mark Egan

NEW ORLEANS, Sept 3 (Reuters) - People left homeless by Hurricane
Katrina told horrific stories of rape, murder and trigger happy guards
in two New Orleans centers that were set up as shelters but became
places of violence and terror.
-----
"They killed a man here last night," Steve Banka, 28, told Reuters. "A
young lady was being raped and stabbed. And the sounds of her
screaming got to this man and so he ran out into the street to get help
from troops, to try to flag down a passing truck of them, and he
jumped up on the truck's windscreen and they shot him dead."
-----
People here said there were now 22 bodies of adults and children
stored inside the building, but troops guarding the building refused to
confirm that and threatened to beat reporters seeking access to the
makeshift morgue.

People trying to walk out are forced back at gunpoint - something
troops said was for their own safety. "It's sad, but how far do you
think they would get," one soldier said.

"They have us living here like animals," said Wvonnette Grace-Jordan,
here with five children, the youngest only six weeks old. "We have only
had two meals, we have no medicine and now there are thousands of
people defecating in the streets. This is wrong. This is the United
States of America."

One National Guard soldier who asked not to be named for fear of
punishment from his commanding officer said of the lack of medical
attention at the center, "They (the Bush administration) care more
about Iraq and Afghanistan than here."

The Louisiana National Guard soldier said, "We are doing the best we
can with the resources we have, but almost all of our guys are in
Iraq."

More:
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N03464940.htm


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 35 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:33) * 10 lines 
 
Now nature has done what the Civil War couldn't do. Nature has done what the labor riots of the 1920's couldn't do. Nature had done what "modern life" with its relentless pursuit of efficiency couldn't do. It has done what racism couldn't do, and what segregation couldn't do either. Nature has laid the city waste - with a scope that brings to mind the end of Pompeii.

Anne Rice, novelist

at

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/opinion/04rice.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5090&en=ce2f33f8719dba9c&ex=1283486400&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss


Read the rest of her story, it's gripping and insightful.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 36 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:34) * 8 lines 
 
http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1077495.php

Jessie Jackson riles against calling the "evacuees" refugees.

But in this article, they're called "insurgents."

Good Lord.



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 37 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:37) * 24 lines 
 
It seems the response to the hurricane on the national scale was beyond
incompetent, beyond indifferent, and somewhere approaching the line of ...
what, exactly? CrapMcFungled? Jackasstrophic? Neroesque?

The top political appointees and candidates, in interview after
interview,have decided on their defense. In each specific instance, aid
wasn't given because that particular fragment of aid wasn't asked for (or
because four or five days after landfall they still didn't know about, oh
say, 15,000 evacuees in a major evacuation center.) There are still,
today, reports of small communities that haven't yet gotten more than a
token amount of aid.

The entire argument is beyond insulting. The reason these communities
haven't "requested" more aid? Because they have no working communications.

They have no phones. Police and fire capabilities were all but destroyed,
in some areas. Medical capabilities, even worse off. And yet it dawned on
nobody, within FEMA or "Homeland Security" or anywhere else in this
vaunted post-9/11 world, that maybe the flattened counties that nobody
could contact and nobody could get information from NEEDED HELP?

from

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/3/194510/7049


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 38 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:39) * 16 lines 
 
"No one knows how many were killed by Hurricane Katrina's floods and how
many more succumbed waiting to be rescued. But the bodies are everywhere:
hidden in attics, floating among the ruined city, crumpled on wheelchairs,
abandoned on highways.

And the dying goes on - at the convention center and an airport triage
center, where bodies were kept in a refrigerated truck.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Saturday that she expected the death toll to
reach the thousands. And Craig Vanderwagen, rear admiral of the U.S.
Public Health Service, said one morgue alone, at a St. Gabriel prison,
expected 1,000 to 2,000 bodies."

from

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20050904/D8CD42BO0.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 39 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:40) * 35 lines 
 

http://billmon.org/archives/002124.html

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Two key U.S. senators said on Friday they will
launch a bipartisan coverup of what they described as an "immense, but
probably unavoidable failure" of the government response to Hurricane
Katrina.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who heads the Senate
Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the panel's
other top-ranking Republican, said they hope to shift as much blame as
possible to lower-ranking officials and career federal employees --
ideally at an obscure government agency that few Americans have ever
heard of.

"In keeping with recent congressional practice, we will try to shield
the president and the senior members of his administration from
directly responsibility for this fiasco, although a few token
resignations may be required this time around," the pair said in a
joint statement. "Our primary focus, however, will be on figuring out
how to throw billions of dollars in additional funding to the very
same agencies that failed so spectacularly this past week."

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist expressed his own support for a
cover up, saying it would follow in the "proud footsteps" of
Congress's refusal to hold anyone accountable for the failure to stop
the 9/11 attacks, the completely inadequate investigation into the Abu
Ghraib torture abuses, and the Senate Intelligence Committtee's
whitewash of administration efforts to cook the intelligence on
weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Speaker of the House Denny Hastert declined to comment on the
hurricane or the proposed Senate investigation, other than to make a
loud "BRRRRRRRR" sound while pushing a toy bulldozer across a map of
New Orleans.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 40 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:40) * 10 lines 
 
"When [FEMA Director] Brown explained how surprised he was that not everyone
left the city before the storm, and that FEMA was currently trying to help
those who didn't, Koppel shot back, "Mr. Brown, some of these people are
dead. They're beyond your help. Some of these people have died because they
needed insulin and couldn't get it ... You say you were surprised by the
fact that so many people didn't make it out. It's no surprise to anyone that
you had at least 100,000 people in the city of New Orleans who are dirt poor
[and couldn't afford to evacuate the city]."

http://www.cjrdaily.org/archives/001787.asp


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 41 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:41) * 19 lines 
 
"[...] Yet little of the most valuable coverage, local radio
broadcasting, is available inside New Orleans. Without TV, Internet
access, newspapers, and telephones, people are depending on
radios—battery-powered, in automobiles, or hand-crank—for emergency
information. But as of Thursday evening, only one station, Entercom's
WWL-AM 870, had its own reporters on the air. Clear Channel
Communications, which owns roughly 1,200 stations nationwide (about six
times more than any other company) owns six stations in New Orleans.
The company has been criticized for failing to provide emergency
information or expansive coverage during other local disasters in
recent years. During the first days of the disaster, none of the Clear
Channel stations provided their own reporting on the crisis. One, KHEV,
retransmitted audio from WWL-TV. On Friday, the Web sites for Clear
Channel's New Orleans stations announced that they had joined other
broadcasters in setting up "United Radio for New Orleans" and removed
the promos for syndicated programs and paid advertisements that had
been visible on the site over the previous days."

http://www.slate.com/id/2125572/


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 42 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:42) * 9 lines 
 
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3338813

NBC deletes rapper's remark from telethon

Kanye West said Bush 'doesn't care about black people'

Kanye West's impromptu attack on President Bush during a live telecast
Friday night prompted NBC to delete his remark in its West Coast broadcast
of the benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 43 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:42) * 11 lines 
 
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1764115,00.html

"There seems to me a strong chance that this calamity could be the
beginning of something profound in American politics: a sense that
government is broken and that someone needs to fix it."

"The president... had already opined that nobody had foreseen the
breaching of New Orleans’ levees. Earth to Bush: the breaching of the
levees had been foreseen for decades. If anyone wanted evidence that
this president was completely divorced from reality, that statement was
Exhibit A."


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 44 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:43) * 31 lines 
 
Chertoff: Katrina scenario did not exist

However, experts for years had warned of threat to New Orleans

Defending the U.S. government's response to Hurricane Katrina,
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff argued Saturday that
government planners did not predict such a disaster ever could occur.

But in fact, government officials, scientists and journalists have
warned of such a scenario for years.

Chertoff, fielding questions from reporters, said government officials
did not expect both a powerful hurricane and a breach of levees that
would flood the city of New Orleans. (See the video on a local paper's
prophetic warning -- 3:30 )

"That 'perfect storm' of a combination of catastrophes exceeded the
foresight of the planners, and maybe anybody's foresight," Chertoff
said.

He called the disaster "breathtaking in its surprise."

But engineers say the levees preventing this below-sea-level city from
being turned into a swamp were built to withstand only Category 3
hurricanes. And officials have warned for years that a Category 4 could
cause the levees to fail.

More:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/09/03/katrina.chertoff/index.html



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 45 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:44) * 11 lines 
 
"Eventually we're going to have to examine the administration's
behavior before, during and after this storm as closely as its history
before, during and after 9/11. We're going to have to ask if troops and
matériel of all kinds could have arrived faster without the drain of
national resources into a quagmire. We're going to have to ask why it
took almost two days of people being without food, shelter and water
for Mr. Bush to get back to Washington."

from

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/opinion/04rich.html?th&emc=th


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 46 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:47) * 34 lines 
 
http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/face_90405.pdf (Show Transcript)

BOB SCHIEFFER: Finally, a personal thought. We have come through what may
have been one of the worst weeks in America's history, a week in which
government at every level failed the people it was created to serve. There
is no purpose for government except to improve the lives of its citizens.

Yet as scenes of horror that seemed to be coming from some Third World
country flashed before us, official Washington was like a dog watching
television. It saw the lights and images, but did not seem to comprehend
their meaning or see any link to reality.

As the floodwaters rose, local officials in New Orleans ordered the city
evacuated. They might as well have told their citizens to fly to the moon.

How do you evacuate when you don't have a car? No hint of intelligent
design in any of this. This was just survival of the richest.

By midweek a parade of Washington officials rushed before the cameras to
urge patience. What good is patience to a mother who can't find food and
water for a dehydrated child? Washington was coming out of an August
vacation stupor and seemed unable to refocus on business or even think
straight.

Why else would Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert questionaloud
whether New Orleans should even be rebuilt? And when he was unable to get
to Washington in time to vote on emergency aid funds, Hastert had an
excuse only Washington could understand: He had to attend a fund-raiser
back home.

Since 9/11, Washington has spent years and untold billions reorganizingthe
government to deal with crises brought on by possible terrorist attacks.

If this is the result, we had better start over.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 47 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:48) * 62 lines 
 
http://www.nola.com/newslogs/tporleans/

OUR OPINIONS: An open letter to the President
Dear Mr. President:

We heard you loud and clear Friday when you visited our devastated
city and the Gulf Coast and said, "What is not working, we’re going to
make it right."

Please forgive us if we wait to see proof of your promise before
believing you. But we have good reason for our skepticism.

Bienville built New Orleans where he built it for one main reason:
It’s accessible. The city between the Mississippi River and Lake
Pontchartrain was easy to reach in 1718.

How much easier it is to access in 2005 now that there are interstates
and bridges, airports and helipads, cruise ships, barges, buses and
diesel-powered trucks.

Despite the city’s multiple points of entry, our nation’s bureaucrats
spent days after last week’s hurricane wringing their hands, lamenting
the fact that they could neither rescue the city’s stranded victims nor
bring them food, water and medical supplies...

State Rep. Karen Carter was right Friday when she said the city didn’t
have but two urgent needs: "Buses! And gas!" Every official at the
Federal Emergency Management Agency should be fired, Director Michael
Brown especially.

In a nationally televised interview Thursday night, he said his agency
hadn’t known until that day that thousands of storm victims were
stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He gave another
nationally televised interview the next morning and said, "We’ve
provided food to the people at the Convention Center so that they’ve
gotten at least one, if not two meals, every single day."

Lies don’t get more bald-faced than that, Mr. President.

Yet, when you met with Mr. Brown Friday morning, you told him, "You’re
doing a heck of a job."

That’s unbelievable.

There were thousands of people at the Convention Center because the
riverfront is high ground. The fact that so many people had reached
there on foot is proof that rescue vehicles could have gotten there,
too.

We, who are from New Orleans, are no less American than those who live
on the Great Plains or along the Atlantic Seaboard. We’re no less
important than those from the Pacific Northwest or Appalachia. Our
people deserved to be rescued.

No expense should have been spared. No excuses should have been
voiced. Especially not one as preposterous as the claim that New
Orleans couldn’t be reached.

Mr. President, we sincerely hope you fulfill your promise to make our
beloved communities work right once again.

When you do, we will be the first to applaud.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 48 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:48) * 28 lines 
 

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05247/564856.stm

The president from Mars

Sunday, September 04, 2005

By Dennis Roddy
As New Orleans took on the atmospherics of a John Carpenter movie,
George W. Bush, a man reluctant to distinguish between desperation and
lawlessness, much less make the connection between the two, proved at
last he is his father's son.

Thirteen years earlier George Bush the Elder saw a black population
mired in poverty and alienation riot after a California jury blithely
acquitted the posse of Los Angeles cops who beat Rodney King half to
death. His response was to deliver an indignant speech about law and
order, proving only that he was blind to the nuances of plain justice.

Last week, with the poor stranded on rooftops, then huddled, hungry
and abandoned inside a leaking stadium and a sweltering convention
center, George the Lesser watched in seeming amazement when they ran
riot...

Bush has shown, first in a distant land, where the corpses are
foreign, and from which dead Americans can be smuggled home with
photographers banned, and now, inside his own borders, that he has no
grasp of how policy and outcome are interconnected.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 49 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:50) * 34 lines 
 
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101329,00.htm



It isn't easy picking George Bush's worst moment last week. Was it his
first go at addressing the crisis Wednesday, when he came across as
cool to the point of uncaring? Was it when he said that he didn't
"think anybody expected" the New Orleans levees to give way, though
that very possibility had been forecast for years? Was it when he
arrived in Mobile, Ala., a full four days after the storm made
landfall, and praised his hapless Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA) director, Michael D. Brown, whose disaster credentials seemed to
consist of once being the commissioner of the International Arabian
Horse Association? "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job," said the
President. Or was it that odd moment when he promised to rebuild
Mississippi Senator Trent Lott's house--a gesture that must have
sounded astonishingly tone-deaf to the homeless black citizens still
trapped in the postapocalyptic water world of New Orleans. "Out of the
rubbles of Trent Lott's house--he's lost his entire house," cracked
Bush, "there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward
to sitting on the porch."

Bush seemed so regularly out of it last week, it made you wonder if he
was stuck in the same White House bubble of isolation that confined
his dad. Too often, W. looked annoyed. Or he smiled when he should have
been serious. Or he swaggered when simple action would have been the
right move.

And he was so slow. Everyone knew on Sunday morning that Katrina was a
killer. Yet when the levees broke after the storm, the White House
slouched toward action. And this from a leader who made his bones with
9/11. In a crisis he can act paradoxically, appearing--almost
simultaneously--strong and weak, decisive and vacillating, Churchill
and Chamberlain. This week he was more Chamberlain.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 50 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:50) * 38 lines 
 
Sen. Landrieu Threatens to 'Punch' President if He Keeps Hitting Local
Response to Katrina
By E&P Staff

NEW YORK -- Senator Mary Landrieu, the Democrat of Louisiana (whose
father was a mayor of New Orleans), appears to have finally found her
voice after offering only cautious criticism of the federal relief
effort in the hurriance catastrophe earlier in the week. Today she
promised to literally "punch" anyone, "including the president," who
contnued to question the local response to the tragedy, considering the
gross federal misconduct.

Appearing on ABC's "The Week" TV program this morning, Senator
Landrieu still appeared to be smarting from President Bush's comments,
during his national radio address, that state and local bore a fair
share of blame for the slow response. On a copter tour of the area,
Landrieu said that if she heard any more criticism from federal
officials, particularly about the evacuation of New Orleans, she might
lose control.

"If one person criticizes them or says one more thing - including the
president of the United States - he will hear from me," she said on the
ABC program. "One more word about it after this show airs and I might
likely have to punch him. Literally."

She burst into tears as she looked at a broken levee. "The President
could have funded it," she said. "He cut it out of the budget. Is that
the most pitiful sight you have ever seen in your life? One little
crane."

She also referred angrily to comments Bush had made Friday at the New
Orleans airport about the fun he had in her city in his younger days.

"Our infrastructure is devastated, lives have been shattered,"
Landrieu said. "Would the president please stop taking photo-ops?"

Source:
http://www.mediainfo.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1001054594


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 51 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:51) * 20 lines 
 
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/Katrina.htm

Fed Response to Katrina Gets Thumbs Down

September 4, 2005--Just 28% of Americans give say that the federal
government has done a good or an excellent job responding to Hurricane
Katrina. Another 25% say the government has done a fair job while 45%
say poor.

Interest in the story is extraordinarily high. Eighty-eight percent
(88%) of Americans say they are closely following news stories about
the tragedy, including 59% who are following it "very closely."

Forty-seven percent (47%) have made a financial contribution to help
the victims of the disaster. Seventy-eight percent (78%) have said a
prayer for them.
Eighty-five percent (85%) say that the "disaster in New Orleans and
surrounding areas [will] have a major impact on the U.S. economy.
Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level in more than two
years.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 52 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:51) * 1 lines 
 



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 53 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:52) * 20 lines 
 
Frank Rich:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/opinion/04rich.html?pagewanted=print

This administration would like us to forget a lot, starting with the
simple fact that next Sunday is the fourth anniversary of the day we
were attacked by Al Qaeda, not Iraq. Even before Katrina took command
of the news, Sept. 11, 2005, was destined to be a half-forgotten
occasion, distorted and sullied by a grotesquely inappropriate
Pentagon-sponsored country music jamboree on the Mall. But hard as it
is to reflect upon so much sorrow at once, we cannot allow ourselves to
forget the real history surrounding 9/11; it is the Rosetta stone for
what is happening now. If we are to pull ourselves out of the disasters
of Katrina and Iraq alike, we must live in the real world, not the
fantasyland of the administration's faith-based propaganda. Everything
connects.

Though history is supposed to occur first as tragedy, then as farce,
even at this early stage we can see that tragedy is being repeated once
more as tragedy. From the president's administratio


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 54 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:53) * 29 lines 
 
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/opinion/05herbert.html?pagewanted=print

September 5, 2005
A Failure of Leadership

By BOB HERBERT
"Bush to New Orleans: Drop Dead"

Neither the death of the chief justice nor the frantic efforts of
panicked White House political advisers can conceal the magnitude of
the president's failure of leadership last week. The catastrophe in New
Orleans billowed up like the howling winds of hell and was carried
live and in color on television screens across the U.S. and around the
world.

The Big Easy had turned into the Big Hurt, and the colossal failure of
George W. Bush to intervene powerfully and immediately to rescue tens
of thousands of American citizens who were suffering horribly and dying
in agony was there for all the world to see.

Hospitals with deathly ill patients were left without power, with
ventilators that didn't work, with floodwaters rising on the lower
floors and with corpses rotting in the corridors and stairwells. People
unable to breathe on their own, or with cancer or heart disease or
kidney failure, slipped into comas and sank into their final sleep in
front of helpless doctors and relatives. These were Americans in
desperate trouble.

The president didn't seem to notice.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 55 of 75: Dorine  (gomezdo) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:53) * 1 lines 
 
Good God, Terry, I thought I was going overboard with 2 posts with multiple links this morning. Try spreading it out a bit. It's a bit overwhelming to find other topics. But some interesting links and stories, thanks.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 56 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:53) * 14 lines 
 
"When President Bush told "Good Morning America" on Thursday morning that
nobody could have "anticipated" the breach of the New Orleans levees, it
pointed to not only a remote leader in denial, but a whole political
class.

"The uneasy paradox which so many live with in this country - of being
first-and-foremost rugged individuals, out to plunder what they can and
paying as little tax as they can get away with, while at the same time
believing that America is a robust, model society - has reached a crisis
point this week."

From a BBC Viewpoint piece.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4210674.stm


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 57 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:54) * 19 lines 
 
"For those away from New Orleans - most all of us - in this week of tears
and wrenching, words fail. Somehow our heart's reach comes short and we've
been left with an aching, pointless inwardness. 'All memory resolves
itself in gaze,' poet Richard Hugo wrote once about another town that
died. Empathy is what we long for - not sadness for a house we own, or
owned once, now swept away. Not even for the felt miracle of two wide-eyed
children whirled upward into a helicopter as if into clouds. We want more
than that, even at this painful long distance: we want to project our
feeling parts straight into the life of a woman standing waist-deep in a
glistening toxic current with a whole city's possessions all floating
about, her own belongings in a white plastic bag, and who has no
particular reason for hope, and so is just staring up. We would all give
her hope. Comfort. A part of ourselves. Perform an act of renewal. It's
hard to make sense of this, we say. But it makes sense. Making sense just
doesn't help."

-- Richard Ford

http://books.guardian.co.uk/print/0,3858,5277188-99819,00.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 58 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:55) * 3 lines 
 
http://wiredblogs.tripod.com/sterling/index.blog?entry_id=1211972

Wired's Bruce Sterling plucks out some of the commentary from the world press.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 59 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:56) * 1 lines 
 
Some of the links above are truly amazing. It may be worth your while to click on them and learn more than the excerpts.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 60 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:57) * 168 lines 
 
Category: ray nagin


SEP
05
2005
Daily Briefing -- Katrina: A 'Besieged White House'

• 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]

READ MORE: Media , cable news , dan bartlett , doris kearns goodwin , fema , george w. bush , hillary clinton , howard kurtz , karl rove , katrina , louisiana , michael chertoff , michael leavitt , nicole devenish , ray nagin
SEP
02
2005
Nagin's Nightmare: Full Transcript

CNN just sent out the full transcript of the New Orleans Mayor's emotional and (understandably) expletive-laden interview on local radio yesterday: "excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed."

It's after the jump.

RELATED: Ray Nagin for President, Anderson Cooper for Secretary of Take No Shit [Wonkette]

CNN airs WWL Radio interview with New Orleans Mayor Ray ;

This is a rush transcript and may not be in its final format.

RAY NAGIN, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: I told him we had an incredible crisis here and that his flying over in Air Force One does not do it justice. And that I have been all around this city, and I am very frustrated because we are not able to marshal resources and we're out-manned in just about every respect.

You know the reason why the looters got out of control? Because we had most of our resources saving people, thousands of people that were stuck in attics, man, old ladies. When you pull off the doggone ventilator vent and you look down there and they're standing in there in water up to their freaking necks.

And they don't have a clue what's going on down here. They flew down here one time two days after the doggone event was over with TV cameras, AP reporters, all kind of goddamn -- excuse my French everybody in America, but I am pissed.

GARLAND ROBINETTE, WWL CORRESPONDENT: 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 General 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.

ROBINETTE: 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 busline 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. They're air-vacing people over here in New Orleans. We don't have anything and we're sharing with our brothers in Plaquemines Parish.

It's awful down here, man.

ROBINETTE: Do you believe that the president is seeing this, holding a news conference on it but can't do anything until Kathleen Blanco requested him to do it? And do you know whether or not she has made that request?

NAGIN: I have no idea what they're doing. But I will tell you this: You know, God is looking down on all this and if they are not doing everything in their power to save people they are going to pay the price. Because every day that we delay, people are dying and they're dying by the hundreds, I'm willing to bet you.

We're getting reports and calls that are breaking my heart, from people saying, "I've been in my attic. I can't take it anymore. The water is up to my neck. I don't think I can hold out." And that's happening as we speak.

You know what really upsets me, Garland? We told everybody the importance of the 17th Street Canal issue. We said, "Please, please take care of this. We don't care what you do. Figure it out."

ROBINETTE: Who'd you say that to?

NAGIN: Everybody: the governor, Homeland Security, FEMA. You name it, we said it.

And they allowed that pumping station next to Pumping Station 6 to go under water. Our sewage and water board people -- Marcia St. Martin (ph) -- stayed there and endangered their lives.

And what happened when that pumping station went down, the water started flowing again in the city and it starting getting to levels that probably killed more people. In addition to that, we had water flowing through the pipes in the city. That's a power station over there. So there's no water flowing anywhere on the east bank of Orleans Parish. So our critical water supply was destroyed because of lack of
action.

ROBINETTE: Why couldn't they drop the 3,000-pound sandbags or the containers that they were talking about earlier? Was it an engineering feat that just couldn't be done?

NAGIN: They said it was some pulleys that they had to manufacture. But, you know, in a state of emergency, man, you are creative, you figure out ways to get stuff done.

Then they told me that they went overnight and they built 17 concrete structures and they had the pulleys on them and they were going to drop them.

I flew over that thing yesterday and it's in the same shape that it was after the storm hit. There is nothing happening. And they're feeding the public a line of bull and they're spinning, and people are dying down here.

ROBINETTE: If some of the public called and they're right, that

there's a law that the president, that the federal government can't do anything without local or state requests, would you request martial law?

NAGIN: I've already called for martial law in the city of New Orleans. We did that a few days ago.

ROBINETTE: Did the governor do that, too?

NAGIN: I don't know. I don't think so.

But we called for martial law when we realized that the looting was getting out of control. And we redirected all of our police officers back to patrolling the streets. They were dead-tired from saving people but they worked all night because we thought this thing was going to blow wide open last night. And so we redirected all of our resources and we hold it under check.

I'm not sure if we can do that another night with the current resources.

And I am telling you right now: They're showing all these reports of people looting and doing all that weird stuff, and they are doing that, but people are desperate and they're trying to find food and water, the majority of them.

Now, you got some knuckle heads out there and they are taking advantage of this lawless -- this situation where, you know, we can't really control it, and they're doing some awful, awful things. But that's a small majority of the people. Most people are looking to try and survive.

And one of the things people -- nobody's talked about this. Drugs flowed in and out of New Orleans and the surrounding metropolitan area so freely it was scary to me, and that's why we were having the escalation in murders. People don't want to talk about this, but I'm going to talk about it.

You have drug addicts that are now walking around this city looking for a fix, and that's that reason why they were breaking in hospitals and drug stores. They're looking for something to take the edge off of their jones, if you will.

And right now, they don't have anything to take the edge off. And they've probably found guns. So what you're seeing is drug- starving crazy addicts, drug addicts, that are wrecking havoc. And we don't have the manpower to adequately deal with it. We can only target certain sections of the city and form a perimeter around them and hope to God that we're not overrun.

ROBINETTE: Well, you and I must be in the minority. Because apparently there's a section of our citizenry out there that thinks because of a law that says the federal government can't come in unless requested by the proper people, that everything that's going on to this point has been done as good as it can possibly be.

NAGIN: Really?

ROBINETTE: I know you don't feel that way.

NAGIN: Well, did the tsunami victims request? Did it go through a formal process to request?

You know, did the Iraqi people request that we go in there? Did they ask us to go in there?

What is more important?

And I'll tell you, man, I'm probably going get in a whole bunch of trouble. I'm probably going to get in so much trouble it ain't even funny. You probably won't even want to deal with me after this interview is over.

ROBINETTE: You and I will be in the funny place together.

NAGIN: But we authorized $8 billion to go to Iraq lickety-quick. After 9/11, we gave the president unprecedented powers lickety-quick to take care of New York and other places.

Now, you mean to tell me that a place where most of your oil is coming through, a place that is so unique when you mention New Orleans anywhere around the world, everybody's eyes light up -- you mean to tell me that a place where you probably have thousands of people that have died and thousands more that are dying every day, that we can't figure out a way to authorize the resources that we need? Come on, man.

You know, I'm not one of those drug addicts. I am thinking very clearly.

And I don't know whose problem it is. I don't know whether it's the governor's problem. I don't know whether it's the president's problem, but somebody need to get their ass on a plane and sit down, the two of them, and figure this out right now.

ROBINETTE: What can we do here?

NAGIN: Keep talking about it.

ROBINETTE: We'll do that. What else can we do?

NAGIN: Organize people to write letters and make calls to their congressmen, to the president, to the governor. Flood their doggone offices with requests to do something.

This is ridiculous.

I don't want to see anybody do anymore goddamn press conferences. Put a moratorium on press conferences. Don't do another press conference until the resources are in this city. And then come down to this city and stand with us when there are military trucks and troops that we can't even count.

Don't tell me 40,000 people are coming here. They're not here. It's too doggone late.

Now get off your asses and do something, and let's fix the biggest goddamn crisis in the history of this country.

ROBINETTE: I'll say it right now, you're the only politician that's called and called for arms like this. And if -- whatever it takes, the governor, president -- whatever law precedent it takes, whatever it takes, I bet that the people listening to you are on your side.

NAGIN: Well, I hope so, Garland. I am just -- I'm at the point now where it don't matter. People are dying. They don't have homes. They don't have jobs. The city of New Orleans will never be the same in this time.

ROBINETTE: We're both pretty speechless here.

NAGIN: Yeah, I don't know what to say.

I got to go.

ROBINETTE: OK. Keep in touch. Keep in touch.

READ MORE: CNN , katrina , ray nagin , top
Change in WH Sked?

CNN is reporting that Bush will meet with Mayor Nagin today. If he could bring some troops and money with him that would be nice.

READ MORE: george w. bush , katrina , r


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 61 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (08:57) * 1 lines 
 
The above is from the very excellent blog, wonkette.com


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 62 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (09:01) * 53 lines 
 
This from the news conference:

Topic 101 of 101: 'Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans'
Resp 59 of 59: 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. :-(



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 63 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (09:02) * 5 lines 
 
http://spring.net/yapp-bin/public/read/news/101/since/-365

is where you'll find more discussion of this topic on the Spring.

It's Topic 101 of 101: Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 64 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus  (paul) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (09:04) * 3 lines 
 
OK Dorine, I'll take a break. And I haven't even had my first cup of coffee yet this morning.




 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 65 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (10:01) * 28 lines 
 
Some Brits got caught in the Superdome:

"The army told us to stick in a group and for the women to sit in the
middle with the men around the outside and to be ready to defend
ourselves,” Mr Nelson, from Epsom, Surrey, said. “Their urgency scared us.
I sat on the outside, really scared by this point, sitting waiting for God
knows what. We waited and waited, I didn’t sleep. A lot of the girls had
been groped.”

Miss Wheeldon, from Carmarthen, South Wales, said that being inside the
Superdome was terrifying and that she had been sexually harassed.

The atmosphere was extremely intimidating,” the Lancaster University
student said. “People stared at us all the time and men would come up to
me and stroke my stomach and bottom. They would also say horrible,
suggestive things. The worst time came when there was a rumour that a
white man had raped a black woman. We were scared that we would be raped,
robbed, or both. People were arguing, fighting and being arrested all the
time.”

The “internationals, as the army labelled the stranded tourists, were
among the few white people in the stadium. Marked out by their skin colour
and unfamiliar accents, they were verbally abused, while their luggage
made them targets for robbery.

from

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,11069-1765482,00.html


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 66 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (10:29) * 8 lines 
 
In the NYT piece which Dorine liked so much:

it has also positioned Katrina before a rapt late-summer audience as a replay of the sinking of the Titanic. New Orleans's first-class passengers made it safely into lifeboats; for those in steerage, it was a horrifying spectacle of every man, woman and child for himself.

THE captain in this case, Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, was so oblivious to those on the lower decks that on Thursday he applauded the federal response to the still rampaging nightmare as "really exceptional." He told NPR that he had "not heard a report of thousands of people in the convention center who don't have food and water" - even though every television viewer in the country had been hearing of those 25,000 stranded refugees for at least a day. This Titanic syndrome, too, precisely echoes the post-9/11 wartime history of an administration that has rewarded the haves at home with economic goodies while leaving the have-nots to fight in Iraq without proper support in manpower or armor. Surely it's only a matter of time before Mr. Chertoff and the equally at sea FEMA director, Michael Brown (who also was among the last to hear about the convention center), are each awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom in line with past architects of lethal administration calamity like George Ten
t and Paul Bremer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/opinion/04rich.html?pagewanted=print


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 67 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (11:46) * 20 lines 
 
The Potemkin President

http://billmon.org/archives/002126.html

That Bush's trip to the hurricane zone would turn into a portable
soundstage, complete with props and carefully screened human extras,
shouldn't surprise anyone. It's just the way the modern imperial
presidency operates in the television age.

Nevertheless, the phrase "Potemkin Village" inevitably comes to mind --
and not just as a metaphor for this particular tour. Even for a modern
imperial president, the bubble that Bush now lives in is impressively
impermeable to reality. A portable bunker, in other words.

But thinking about the political impact of Hurricane Katrina, it occurred
to me that the real Potemkin Village here is Bush himself -- or rather,
the mythic image of Bush that was created in the wake of 9/11. New Orleans
may, at great cost, be resurrected from the waters. Bush's presidential
image, on the other hand, is probably gone for good. For him, at least,
this really is the "anti-9/11."


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 68 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Sep  5, 2005 (11:48) * 57 lines 
 
Why FEMA Was Missing in Action
By Peter G. Gosselin and Alan C. Miller, Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON — While the federal government has spent much of the last
quarter-century trimming the safety nets it provides Americans, it has
dramatically expanded its promise of protection in one area — disaster.


Since the 1970s, Washington has emerged as the insurer of last resort
against floods, fires, earthquakes and — after 2001 — terrorist
attacks.

But the government's stumbling response to the storm that devastated
the nation's Gulf Coast reveals that the federal agency singularly most
responsible for making good on Washington's expanded promise has been
hobbled by cutbacks and a bureaucratic downgrading.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency once speedily delivered food,
water, shelter and medical care to disaster areas, and paid to quickly
rebuild damaged roads and schools and get businesses and people back on
their feet. Like a commercial insurance firm setting safety standards
to prevent future problems, it also underwrote efforts to get cities
and states to reduce risks ahead of time and plan for what they would
do if calamity struck.

But in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, FEMA lost its
Cabinet-level status as it was folded into the giant new Department of
Homeland Security. And in recent years it has suffered budget cuts, the
elimination or reduction of key programs and an exodus of experienced
staffers.

The agency's core budget, which includes disaster preparedness and
mitigation, has been cut each year since it was absorbed by the
Homeland Security Department in 2003. Depending on what the final
numbers end up being for next fiscal year, the cuts will have been
between about 2% and 18%.

The agency's staff has been reduced by 500 positions to 4,735. Among
the results, FEMA has had to cut one of its three emergency management
teams, which are charged with overseeing relief efforts in a disaster.
Where it once had "red," "white" and "blue" teams, it now has only red
and white.

Three out of every four dollars the agency provides in local
preparedness and first-responder grants go to terrorism-related
activities, even though a recent Government Accountability Office
report quotes local officials as saying what they really need is money
to prepare for natural disasters and accidents.

"They've taken emergency management away from the emergency managers,"
complained Morrie Goodman, who was FEMA's chief spokesman during the
Clinton administration. "These operations are being run by people who
are amateurs at what they are doing."

More:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fema5sep05,0,685581.story



 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 69 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (09:50) * 12 lines 
 
FEMA stories - do you sense a pattern?
FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid
FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board
FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck
FEMA turns away generators (See entry from 3:32 P.M. by Ben Morris, Slidell mayor)
FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond"
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 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 70 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (10:26) * 7 lines 
 

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were
underprivileged anyway, so this (she chuckled slightly)--this is
working very well for them."

-- Barbara Bush,
after touring the Astrodome and visiting with Katrina refugees there.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 71 of 75: Evelyn Boake  (lafn) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (10:57) * 22 lines 
 
Now Terry....let's not take this quote out of context.

BUSH MOM: EVERYONE WANTS TO MOVE TO TEXAS
Mon Sep 05 2005 19:52:02 ET

Former first lady and mother to President Bush said Monday that evacuees from New Orleans have found a home in Houston.

"Almost everyone I?ve talked to says we're going to move to Houston," Barbara Bush told NPR.

"What I?m hearing is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality.

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this --this is working very well for them."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
These are underpriviled people who wanted to move to Texas where there are more opportunities and who would not have had the means on their own on their to relocate.

It's NOT that they were lucky that this catastrophe occured .
Mrs. Bush is not mean-spirited.

Many of the evacuees on TV have indicated they don't want to return to Louisanna and want to stay in Texas where there are more jobs.




 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 72 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Sep  6, 2005 (12:32) * 26 lines 
 
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 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 73 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Sep  9, 2005 (12:24) * 15 lines 
 
More media attention than you can imagine.

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2002 — The average net worth of the individual
members of the Bush cabinet, including the President and Vice
President, was between $9.3 and $27.3 million. That's nearly ten times
the average net worth of the cabinet officials who were their immediate
predecessors, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of
executive branch personal financial disclosure forms...Cumulatively,
the President, Vice President and cabinet secretaries were worth
somewhere between $149 and $434 million. By contrast, the net worth of
the same 16 officials from the last year of the Clinton administration
was in a range between $14.5 to $45.9 million."





 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 74 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Nov  7, 2005 (11:29) * 15 lines 
 
Hurricane Katrina's toll on New Orleans—and on America's tattered self-image
By DAVID HALBERSTAM
READ TOM SANCTON'S ESSAY "THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE"

The scenes were at once familiar and unfamiliar.

Familiar because television has become expert at bringing us news of disasters—hurricanes being a particular specialty of the medium—and it does them better than it does any other kind of story. It is all about pictures, something television producers understand brilliantly, and the pictures in this instance were exceptionally powerful and compelling. The producers and television news reporters, in fact, may have become a bit too smooth, and the danger is they risk turning the real and authentic into something that appears programmed and artificial. First, there are the tragedy and the tears; then, in time, the redemption, the rejuvenation, and the gratitude. Even with Katrina the coverage sometimes seemed scripted, as if they had the story down even before the hurricane struck and needed only to find the right local characters from central casting to play their prescribed roles and the right faces in the crowd that were immediately recognizable in their emotions.

Worth reading the rest

at

http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/articles/051107roco02

It's Vanity Fair.


 Topic 103 of 108 [news]: media coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Fall of New Orleans
 Response 75 of 75: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sat, Dec  3, 2005 (10:44) * 4 lines 
 
The Storm -- An eye-opening look at the bungling and failures at
every level of government in the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/


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