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Stop the presses!

Firms with White House ties get Katrina contracts Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root and Bechtel have been awarded no-bid contracts in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. There's also this.
posted by wsg on Sep 17, 2005 - 80 comments

God Help us All

There lay Vera. Jacob Appelbaum posted about body recovery in New Orleans today, posting photos of what is apparently the destroyed remnants of the interim tomb of one Elvira "Vera" Smith at the "corner of Magazine Avenue and Jackson Street." Smith's daughter hopes her body will be brought to her former home of Victoria, Texas, for final burial. Smith's tomb was the single most indelible image of the New Orleans disaster, reprinted - and shot - countless times over the past two weeks.
Discuss. God help us all.
posted by mwhybark on Sep 16, 2005 - 15 comments

WTF!?

Karl Rove. Karl Rove Will be in charge of the Gulf Coast reconstruction after Katrina.
posted by delmoi on Sep 15, 2005 - 46 comments

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government

Katrina Ushers in Return of Big Government We have a larger govt now (people working for the govt) than we have ever had. We have now the Patriot Act, overseeing much of our activities. We have intelligence agencies doing lord knows what domestically, and security checks etc. Now we learn that Big govt is back? Where had it been before the storm?
posted by Postroad on Sep 15, 2005 - 43 comments

Hurricane Katrina, the Card Game

Katrina: The Gathering is the latest great new collectible card game!

I almost don't know how to describe it. A brilliant, concise, very complete, and quite hilarious1 summary of the the political fallout. It just keeps going and going and going. I think I want to play a game of it.
1 - My options are laugh or cry, so.
posted by blacklite on Sep 14, 2005 - 38 comments

We Had to Kill Our Patients.

We Had to Kill Our Patients : while this may not hit the US press for some time, the UK's Mail on Sunday reports that doctors in New Orleans chose to euthanize patients who were dying in agony and had no chance of survival during the disaster of Hurricane Katrina.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Sep 13, 2005 - 180 comments

Embedded with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans

Embedded with the Times-Picayune in New Orleans : The Columbia Journalism Review covers the heroic efforts of the Times-Picayune reporters.
posted by pandaharma on Sep 13, 2005 - 9 comments

These chickens are looking for a good home

Who will speak for the chickens?
posted by mullingitover on Sep 13, 2005 - 34 comments

Listen to the words....

Words I was sure I would never hear
posted by x_3mta3 on Sep 13, 2005 - 137 comments

After The Flood - Surprising stories from survivors in New Orleans

After The Flood Surprising stories from survivors in New Orleans. We give people who were in the storm more time than daily news coverage can to tell their stories and talk about what they're thinking. This leads to a number of ideas that haven't made it into the regular news coverage. The most recent episode of This American Life is now up on their website--This American Life is one of the best programs on public radio and this was one of their best episodes ever. It is well worth a listen.
posted by y2karl on Sep 13, 2005 - 24 comments

How Bush Blew It

How Bush Blew ItNewsweek offers a fascinating peek behind the scenes of the Bush administration in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Behold a President who has to be given a custom DVD of news clips because he knows less about the situation than someone watching CNN! Watch as frightened aides debate which unlucky bastard has to tell the President to cut short his vacation! Witness intergovernmental squabbling aboard Air Force One!
posted by pardonyou? on Sep 12, 2005 - 158 comments

Heck of a Job, Brownie

Michael Brown resigns from FEMA
posted by me3dia on Sep 12, 2005 - 95 comments

Comic(book) Relief.

Inkwell. "As comic's creators and fans we spend a very large portion of our lives telling or reading the stories of extraordinary people doing extraordinary things under extraordinary circumstances and at the end of the day, triumphing over evil or adversity. Inkwell intends to take that simple idea and make it a reality."
posted by grabbingsand on Sep 12, 2005 - 1 comment

7000 aerial Katrina path pictures from NOAA

7000 aerial Katrina path pictures from NOAA. Here's New Orleans, and the Astrodome, and the Convention Center. Here's NOAA's writeup.
posted by the Real Dan on Sep 12, 2005 - 11 comments

Being poor is people who have never been poor wondering why you choose to be so.

Being Poor ... what it actually entails. More from Body and Soul, and from Making Light, and from here's a whosit. And this article, in which ...they were trying to rescue people with a helicopter and the people were so poor they were afraid it would cost too much to get a ride and they had no money for a "ticket." Dupree was shaken telling us the story. He just couldn't believe these people were afraid they'd be charged for a rescue. ...
posted by amberglow on Sep 11, 2005 - 35 comments

The Show Must Go On

After the Storm Sometime this weekend, you may be able to hear one of the best expressions of New Orleans’ role in music and culture available in any mass media. It's American Routes, a weekly show carried on many US public radio affiliates. Programmed and hosted by folklorist and UNO professor of folklore and culture Nick Spitzer, the show normally broadcasts from a studio in the heart of the French Quarter, but has found a temporary home on a Creole/Cajun French/English public radio station in Lafayette. Spitzer told the NYT that he began planning the music for this week’s show as he was fleeing the flooding city in his car, playing Fats Domino’s “Walking to New Orleans." This week’s show highlights New Orleans’ recovery from disasters past, emphasizing the city’s role as the greatest single wellspring of American music. The Crescent City, after all, has either birthed or nurtured everything from jazz, R & B, cajun and the related black-influenced zydeco, soul, blues, gospel, and rock and roll.) With an encyclopedic knowledge of American vernacular music, an utterly democratic spirit, and an unmistakeable respect and love for American musical forms and the people who create them, Spitzer has stepped forward several times this week to serve as a compassionate and optimistic spokesman for the irrepressible creative spirit of a suffering city and a culture in diaspora.
posted by Miko on Sep 10, 2005 - 19 comments

Davis-Bacon Suspension

The Davis-Bacon Act was passed in 1931 and requires all contractors for federally funded or assisted projects to pay their workers no less than the locally prevailing wage. The impetus for the act was a contractor from Alabama, hired to build a Veteran's hospital in Long Island, who brought a low-paid workforce with him rather than hiring more pricey locals. Organized labor is rather fond of this Act while others see it as racist and un-American. One provision allows the president to suspend the Act in times of national emergency, and now is one of those times.
posted by ewagoner on Sep 9, 2005 - 29 comments

Paying for Katrina

Paying for Katrina: Republican congressman Zach Wamp of Tennessee suggested today that the costs associated with Katrina were 'good reason to at least delay' expanding the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Should the elderly and poor be expected to bear this burden?
posted by wadefranklin on Sep 9, 2005 - 24 comments

Back to the horsing circuit with you

Michael Brown, head of FEMA is relieved of duties. After a rocky week and increasing doubts about his background and experience (like a padded resume), Brown gets pulled from FEMA duty. Pretty surprising to see, given that the "CEO President" proclaimed "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" just a few days ago.
posted by mathowie on Sep 9, 2005 - 216 comments

Katrinanomore&global warming

Katrinanomore&global warming Welcome to the first web site in America dedicated exclusively to raising awareness about the connection between hurricane Katrina and global warming. See below an essay just written by author Mike Tidwell that explains how climate change will soon turn every coastal city in America into another New Orleans unless we make a rapid switch to clean, renewable energy worldwide.
posted by Postroad on Sep 9, 2005 - 42 comments

New Orleans Photo Essay

Yes, it's another Katrina post - sorry, but... this is a great photo essay from with New Orleans before, during and after Katrina. Besides some really interesting photography, it goes some way to showing just why people didn't leave before, or immediately after the hurricane - the sense of normality is astounding, given what we know now...
posted by benzo8 on Sep 9, 2005 - 104 comments

For the first time, I thought to myself, this could be the day I die.

Rami Chami, a graduate student entering Tulane University, was among those who sought refuge in the Superdome. Chami was formerly an editor at the Indiana Daily Student, and has written a three-part series for the paper about the experience.
"The field before us, which would have been ideal to lay down on was empty, but off bounds. The field was manned by National Guardsmen who would not allow people on it. I was told by those around me that it was a multi-million dollar field which the stadium management did not want ruined."
"Our first choices for a bed that evening were: a wet floor, damp chair or in the reeking but dry hallway."
"The atmosphere in the dome had gotten incredibly tense and the soldiers were walking around with shotguns, which I assumed was an ideal weapon for close quarter combat."

posted by kyleg on Sep 9, 2005 - 26 comments

You blinked! The "accountability moment" for Katrina has come and gone

House and Senate GOP leaders announce the (Republican dominated) "Hurricane Katrina Joint Review Committee" which should ensure that no-one near the top of the (Republican Dominated) chain of command is in any danger of repercussions over the death of a great American city. In fact, it seems likely that incompetence will be richly rewarded: representative Waxman thinks that a Provision in Katrina Emergency Bill Leaves Government Open to Waste, Fraud, and Abuse. But that's nothing! Despite near-universal opprobrium as a dysfunctional bureaucracy led by an unqualified political appointee, FEMA will receive nearly all of the funds approved on Thursday -- $50 billion... (all links via TPM)
posted by dinsdale on Sep 8, 2005 - 44 comments

Some R&R

NO First Responders and their families are getting some time off in Las Vegas. In the wake of two suicides and lots of resignations, some first responders are being rotated out to get a break from the stress of responding to the disaster. The trips are being paid for by the Red Cross as well as donations from Station Casinos and Allegiant Air. The first group arrived Tuesday, and gets five days to check out the town and get some rest - sleeping in soft beds, eating hot meals, gamble if they please and maybe catch a show or two. Other cities like Atlanta are also participating in helping the first responders get away from the disaster zone to get a break.
posted by SirOmega on Sep 8, 2005 - 8 comments

Fashionably Late?

Three days after Katrina hit, on September 1st, Red Cross national president Marsha Evans 'first made the request to undertake the operation' ... 'to enter New Orleans with relief supplies', but the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness 'rebuffed' the request. As events unfolded, 'the Red Cross never launched its relief effort in the city' -- as reported by CNN. Fox News (transcription) broke this story with a slightly different perspective. Somewhere in between, I am sure, lies the truth.
posted by mischief on Sep 8, 2005 - 38 comments

Making a killing off the price of gas / bet he would have been up in Connecticut twice as fast.

Rappers I Know - FMJU presents 31 days of the "best shit you've never heard" for download. Featuring Talib Kweli, De La Soul , Oh No (Madlib's brother), J-Zone and the Kanye West "George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People" Gold Digger remix, a response to Hurricane Katrina from The Legendary Knock Out Boyz. ...and much, much more.
posted by SweetJesus on Sep 8, 2005 - 39 comments

We all wish we could, I suppose.

On live TV, irate Miss. man tells Cheney to "self-copulate" Thus turns the karmic wheel ? Recall: over a year ago VP Cheney said ' "I expressed myself rather forcefully, felt better after I had done it," after he told Vermont Senator Patrick Leahey - on the floor of the US Senate - to "Go f_ck" himself. Today, during Cheney's tour of storm damaged Miss., a resident approached Cheney's press meeting and shouted: "Go f_ck yourself, Mr. Cheney!!  Go f_ck yourself!!!". The exhortation was aired on at least one national cable channel. Here is the video ( ALT ). The LA Times,CNN, and FOX are carrying the story.
posted by troutfishing on Sep 8, 2005 - 127 comments

Maple Leaf Neighborhourliness

Vancouver's elite Urban SAR team has been and returned, having helped out in New Orleans in the way they were trained. There's more help on the way from Canada, in the form of Operation Unison; this includes a a Canadian Navy flotilla consisting of the destroyer HMCS Athabaskan, the frigates HMCS Toronto and HMCS Ville de Quebec and the Canadian Coast Guard boat tender HMCS Sir William Alexander. The flotilla carries around 1000 servicepeople, many of them medical and rescue specialists, in addition to engineering and construction crews. Additionally, forty Canadian navy clearance divers will be accompanying the relief force. Despite recent diplomatic spats between our two nations (notably over Iraq, cattle and softwood lumber) we remain good neighbours. After U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci's departure Canada was awaiting an even worse adversary in replacement Ambassador Wilkins. And yet, despite Wilkin's lack of knowledge of things Canadian, he appears to have a significantly greater measure of humility than dick-swinging Cellucci ever did. In any case, as "irrelevant and disappointing" as Canada is to the likes of Bill O'Reilly, we're on our way to help our friends to the south.
posted by illiad on Sep 8, 2005 - 51 comments

Blame the tree-huggers?

Blame the tree-huggers? The national Sierra Club was one of several environmental groups who sued the Army Corps of Engineers to stop a 1996 plan to raise and fortify Mississippi River levees.
posted by flyboy on Sep 8, 2005 - 43 comments

Losing New Orleans

Losing New Orleans: Four months before it happened, I described for a New York editor, in detail and with stunning accuracy, the tragedy that is now unfolding in New Orleans.
In April, I e-mailed the editor my proposal. Two weeks later, she sent her response. As much as I hate saying this,” she wrote, “the only way for this book to actually work is if New Orleans had already sunk.” I’d like to know what “transportation security” meant to Mr. Hutchinson, if it did not include the concept of evacuating a stricken city, or protecting its great port, or safeguarding the third of our nation’s fuel that enters by way of New Orleans?
If I, a reporter in Little Rock, with nothing more than Internet access, a car and a telephone, could predict, almost hour-by-hour, the horror that Katrina would unleash, what were Hutchinson and his cronies at Homeland Security doing with all the assets at their disposal and nearly $40 billion in funding?
posted by thisisdrew on Sep 8, 2005 - 71 comments

EMS & Hurricane Katrina

Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky, California paramedics give an eye witness account of their experience of Katrina in New Orleans
posted by threehundredandsixty on Sep 8, 2005 - 50 comments

Money Flowed to Questionable Projects

Louisiana Leads in Army Corps Spending, but Millions Had Nothing to Do With Floods
In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.

[H]undreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood on Sep 8, 2005 - 71 comments

LA Gov plays 4 corners in NOLA

Nagin Knockin Noggins on Blanco Na-Na? "The mayor certainly has ordered [mandatory evacuation of New Orleans] but the governor, and that would be me, would have to enforce it or implement it. We are trying to determine whether there is an absolute justification for that," she told FOX News - Wed Sept 7 2005
posted by dand on Sep 7, 2005 - 39 comments

Pattern Emerges in Katrina Lack of Response Stories

Beyond Incompetence Reading the news after the Katrina Hurricane and the lack-of-response disaster, a pattern began to emerge. Mainstream media compilation - Collective Bellaciao via xymphora, which has several other uniquely critical posts on Katrina
posted by ism on Sep 7, 2005 - 29 comments

Opinion: No time for turf wars--and much more

Opinion: No time for turf wars--and much more coverage worth reading People at all levels of government will have to answer for what they did and didn’t do in the days before and after Hurricane Katrina. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has earned scorching criticism for its day-late-and-billions-short response to the ghastly crisis in New Orleans. And maybe it was only a matter of time before officials at FEMA and its parent organization, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, began looking for others to blame.
posted by Postroad on Sep 7, 2005 - 18 comments

Reporters covering Katrina receiving trauma assistance

The New York Times is offering Katrina reporters trauma counselling. Reporters covering warzones in Iraq, Chechnya and the Sudan were not offered near-mandatory trauma counselling by the newspaper of record.

Journalists in Lousiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast were.

"In fact, the circumstances were so shocking to reporters that according to one staff member, The New York Times e-mailed information about dealing with trauma to reporters in the field, outlining warning signs; employee-assistance counselors also placed calls to reporters."
posted by huskerdont on Sep 7, 2005 - 35 comments

See no evil...

Quick! Hide the bodies! FEMA's coming. (Or was that the DoD?) via Atrios
posted by bashos_frog on Sep 7, 2005 - 127 comments

Obermann Swings!

The City of Louisiana. Keith Olbermann has crystallized my thoughts exactly(embedded wmv, qt vid here) regarding the ineptness (or is it the complete indifference?) that has played out for us in the past week.
posted by thedoctorpants on Sep 7, 2005 - 66 comments

How Cuba handles hurricanes

Weathering the Storm: Lessons in Hurricane Risk Reduction from Cuba [pdf] Oxfam America report described Cuba's community-based response system in April 2004, five months before category 5 hurricane Ivan tore across the island but resulted in zero deaths. From Medicc Review: "Of those evacuated, fully 78%...were sheltered in the homes of family, friends or neighbors. 8,026 tourists were transferred to safe areas. 359,644 boarding school students were transferred to their homes. 898,160 farm animals in vulnerable areas were moved to safer ground." The International Red Cross had similar praise for Cuba's planning after Hurricane Michelle in 2001: " The contrast between events in Cuba and earlier disasters, such as Hurricanes Mitch and Georges in 1998 and the floods in Venezuela in 1999, is enormous."
posted by mediareport on Sep 6, 2005 - 34 comments

Timelines

Katrina timeline And another , as the first only goes up till Friday the 2nd. Both these only reference verified events. That said, these both seem to have been done by left-leaning people, and I'd like to see some right-wing or even (*ghasp*) non-partisan ones.
posted by delmoi on Sep 6, 2005 - 42 comments

Tea, cash dollars & sympathy

I'm not expecting much from foreign nations because we haven't asked for it," (Bush) said. "I do expect a lot of sympathy, and perhaps some will send cash dollars. For a while there foreign countries were unsure whether to send aid and the US was sending mixed signals. Now of course, even Qatar is coughing up "cash dollars" and other countries are lending a hand. But the question remains: why do we even need it? This guy blames privatization, and I can't say I blame him. (NYT link).
posted by Smedleyman on Sep 6, 2005 - 54 comments

Is the term "Refugee" racist?

Is "Refugee" a racist term? The Rev. Jesse Jackson seems to think so.
posted by riffraff on Sep 6, 2005 - 117 comments

Foreign nationals & Katrina

Blair apologizes to Britons caught in New Orleans during Katrina. The British Foreign Office was repeatedly "rebuffed" by both US State Department and Louisiana state officials when it came to getting their own citizens out. Some US rescuers even took photos of stranded Britons, and asked them to flash their tops (a la Mardi Gras)...leaving without them when they wouldn't comply. British nationals were left to fend for themselves as US citizens were given priority for evacuation. Get ready for more stories like this as foreign nationals who survived Katrina make it home.
posted by bitter-girl.com on Sep 6, 2005 - 61 comments

Firefighters to dispense fliers, not fight fires

"As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded on national television for firefighters - his own are exhausted after working around the clock for a week - a battalion of highly trained men and women sat idle Sunday in a muggy Sheraton Hotel conference room in Atlanta. Many of the firefighters, assembled from Utah and throughout the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, thought they were going to be deployed as emergency workers. Instead, they have learned they are going to be community-relations officers for FEMA, shuffled throughout the Gulf Coast region to disseminate fliers and a phone number: 1-800-621-FEMA."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Sep 6, 2005 - 148 comments

Barbara Bush insults Katrina survivors.

Barbara Bush insults Katrina survivors. Said today while visiting relief efforts at the Houston Astrodome: "Almost everyone I've talked to said we're going to move to Houston. What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. (Said with concern.) Everybody is so overwhelmed by all the hospitality. And so many of the peoples in the arena here, you know, they're underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them." I'd be curious what she'd think after after living there for just a week, much less for months on end, before being sent off to somewhere even further from their homes, friends, and relatives. Please note: This woman raised our president. Did the acorn fall far from the tree?
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 6, 2005 - 203 comments

Walking out of New Orleans

Michael Homan rode out Katrina in New Orleans and later "escaped" one of the freeway-based collection points. His is the first of what will surely be many firsthand accounts appearing on blogs. Why not collect your link finds here?
posted by mwhybark on Sep 5, 2005 - 29 comments

How many Katrina victims still forgotten?

Yet to draw national sympathy--and shock? Some hurricane survivors are being allowed to return to check their homes and authorities are working to deal with the dead. But how many people may remain in mortal peril? The NOLAView weblog reports some ongoing, hair-raising situations: "Kathy Frank is stranded and trapped at 1737 Valence Street. She is text messageing. . . . Right now it is Monday at 12 pm." "[A]rson fires have been set in the Bywater and criminals are still in control of the streets at night." And this is within New Orleans. What about rural areas--struggling and receiving little or no federal assistance? And the spread of infectious disease and other post-hurricane threats?
posted by flug on Sep 5, 2005 - 47 comments

BEHIND THE CURTAIN....

BEHIND THE CURTAIN.... George Bush's photo-op tour of New Orleans yesterday has apparently driven Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu over the edge. Today she blasted FEMA for its feeble response to Hurricane Katrina and Bush for his phony, stage managed promises of action:
posted by Postroad on Sep 5, 2005 - 133 comments

Even if you're stuck behind a keyboard, you can still help

Help process survivor data for missing-persons network (via BoingBoing) The Katrina PeopleFinder Project is an effort to gather online data on missing Katrina disaster victims into an easily searchable database, so their loved ones can be more easily contacted when they are finally found. Via a wiki-style site, volunteers are organized and assigned to enter information gathered from various blogs and online resources.
posted by PsychoKick on Sep 5, 2005 - 8 comments

From the If You Can't Beat 'Em Department

Is the former Republican mayor of New Orleans really blameless? Not by a long shot. From lefty blog Lenin's Tomb, which points to evidence that New Orleans officials "never put plans into place" to evacuate the poorest of the poor. [thanks, Aknaton]
posted by mediareport on Sep 4, 2005 - 70 comments

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