Oct. 12th, 2005 11:58 am
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from amazon.com:
Editorial Reviews

When Mother Nature rages, the physical results are never subtle. Because we cannot contain the weather, we can only react by tabulating the damage in dollar amounts, estimating the number of people left homeless, and laying the plans for rebuilding. But as John M. Barry expertly details in Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America, some calamities transform much more than the landscape.
While tracing the history of the nation's most destructive natural disaster, Barry explains how ineptitude and greed helped cause the flood, and how the policies created to deal with the disaster changed the culture of the Mississippi Delta. Existing racial rifts expanded, helping to launch Herbert Hoover into the White House and shifting the political alliances of many blacks in the process. An absorbing account of a little-known, yet monumental event in American history, Rising Tide reveals how human behavior proved more destructive than the swollen river itself. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal
In the spring of 1927, America witnessed perhaps its greatest natural disaster: a flood that profoundly changed race relations, government, and society in the Mississippi River valley region. Barry (The Transformed Cell, LJ 9/1/92) presents here a fascinating social history of the effects of the massive flood. More than 30 feet of water stood over land inhabited by nearly one million people. Almost 300,000 African Americans were forced to live in refugee camps for months. Many people, both black and white, left the land and never returned. Using an impressive array of primary and secondary sources, Barry clearly traces and analyzes how the changes produced by the flood in the lower South came into conflict and ultimately destroyed the old planter aristocracy, accelerated black migration to the North, and foreshadowed federal government intervention in the region's social and economic life during the New Deal. His well-written work supplants Pete Daniel's Deep'n as It Come: The 1927 Mississippi Flood (1977) as the standard work on the subject. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
-?Charles C. Hay III, Eastern Kentucky Univ. Libs., Richmond
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Fiscal Policy: Why 'Stupid' Fits

By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, September 23, 2005; A23

Hurricane Rita heads inexorably westward, threatening to add to the human and financial costs of Hurricane Katrina. And when it comes to taxes and spending, Washington acts as if nothing is happening.

True, a group of very conservative Republicans issued a list of program cuts on Wednesday under the imposing name "Operation Offset." The cuts that the Republican Study Committee proposed have won their sponsors praise for making "tough choices." Of course the sponsors won't actually have to live with these cuts, because Republican leaders dismissed most of the reductions, especially in congressional pet projects and the Medicare prescription drug benefit.
Read more... )
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Comment on the timeline here.
Friday, August 26


GULF COAST STATES REQUEST TROOP ASSISTANCE FROM PENTAGON: At a 9/1 press conference, Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, commander, Joint Task Force Katrina, said that the Gulf States began the process of requesting additional forces on Friday, 8/26. [DOD]
Saturday, August 27

Read more... )
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Here's another angle from which to look at the hurricane response: a retropsective on past presidents' responses to hurricanes.

President: Nixon
Category 5 Hurricane *Camille* (August 1969)
Area: About the same area as that affected by Katrina

Response: Nixon prepared the National Guard in advance, ordering rescue ships from Tampa, FL and Houston, TX to stand waiting along with over a thousand regular military, 24+ helicopters to assist the Coast Guard and National Guard about as soon as the hurricane passed.

President: Bush (the Elder)
Category 5 Hurricane *Andrew* (August 1992)
Area: Florida

Response: In the middle of a re-election campaign, Bush ceased campaigning the day before the hurricane, went to Washington, and assembled one of the largest military forces ever mustered on U.S. soil. 7,000 National Guard and 22,000 regular military were sent in with the necessary equipment shortly after the hurricane passed through.

President: Clinton
Category 3 Hurricane *Floyd* (September 1999)
Area: Virginia and Carolinas

Response: Meeting with China's president Jiang in New Zealand, Clinton immediately declared the hurricane-affected areas as federal disasters, allowing the military and National Guard to move in and help. Clinton flew home immediately, one day before the hurricane hit, to help coordinate the rescue.

President: Bush (the Lesser)
Category 5 Hurricane *Katrina* (August 2005)
Area: Gulf Coast

Response: National Guard troops are down about 8,000 members because they are in Iraq with much of the needed rescue equipment.
Bush was on vacation, riding his bike for two hours the day before the hurricane landed. On that day, Bush attended a birthday party for John McCain.
The levees began to crack. While emergency 1.5-ton sandbags were ready to be placed to strengthen the levee and exclude water, there were insufficient helicopters and pilots to set them before the levees broke. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin pleaded for federal-level assistance and got none. Bush went to San Diego to play guitar with a country singer and ended his vacation early -- but not until
the next day, because he had tickets to a San Diego Padres game.
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NEW ORLEANS - They awoke Tuesday morning relieved. Hurricane Katrina had
passed, and life for everyone inside Memorial Medical Center would soon
return to normal.

Then the water started rising.
Read more... )

bill maher

Sep. 14th, 2005 08:39 pm
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Bill Maher's closing remarks from his show on HBO

"Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you any more. There's no more money to spend--you used up all of that. You can't start another war because you used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people. Listen to your Mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit cards maxed out. No one's speaking to you. Mission accomplished.

"Now it's time to do what you've always done best: lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service and the oil company and the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or space man? Now I know what you're saying: there's so many other things that you as President could involve yourself in. Please don't. I know, I know. There's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela. Eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.

"But, Sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised that you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man. Herbert Hoover was a @#%$ president, but even he never conceded an entire city to rising water and snakes.

"On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two trade centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans. Maybe you're just not lucky. I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side.

"So, yes, God does speak to you. What he is saying is: 'Take a hint.' "
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Teens face charges due to brawl
KTRK By Cynthia Cisneros

(9/13/05 - HOUSTON) - HISD officials say a fight broke out at Jones High School between Houston students and New Orleans evacuees. Some were taken by ambulance and others were arrested.
Parents and students tell Eyewitness News it's a powder keg of a situation in southeast Houston. HISD police have regained control of the campus.

A fight erupted around 8:45am Tuesday. Students say the problem began last week Students from New Orleans and Houston agree things escalated when a soda can was thrown into a group of New Orleans students as they arrived on campus. A very physical fight then broke out, involving punching and kicking. Students were crying and screaming.

Police were able to break up the fight. When it was all over, three students were taken to area hospitals by ambulance. Five students were arrested. Authorities say of the five arrested, two students are from Louisiana.

The five students arrested Tuesday morning all face a charge of a Class C misdemeanor. They also face the possibility of suspension.

There are 3,000 students who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina and relocated into Houston schools. HISD officials are making it very clear that inappropriate behavior by any students will not be tolerated on campus.
(Copyright © 2005, KTRK-TV)
Cynthia Cisneros

ABC13 News Team

Cynthia Cisneros, Reporter

RELATED: Cynthia's BIO

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today's papers
What Went Wrong
By Lea Rappaport Geller
Posted Sunday, Sept. 11, 2005, at 3:42 AM PT

The New York Times and Washington Post lead, and the Los Angeles Times off-leads, with detailed post mortems of the mishandling of Katrina. All papers are commemorating Sept. 11 by critiquing the government agency created in its wake. Even though the Department of Homeland Security was set up to address blunders in the federal government's response to the terrorist attacks, allowing it to "face domestic threats as a unified, seamless force," Katrina revealed a giant hole in the department's national response plan.
Read more... )
Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2126097/
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Exiles from a city and from a nation

Cornel West
Sunday September 11, 2005
The Observer

It takes something as big as Hurricane Katrina and the misery we saw among the poor black people of New Orleans to get America to focus on race and poverty. It happens about once every 30 or 40 years.
What we saw unfold in the days after the hurricane was the most naked manifestation of conservative social policy towards the poor, where the message for decades has been: 'You are on your own'. Well, they really were on their own for five days in that Superdome, and it was Darwinism in action - the survival of the fittest. People said: 'It looks like something out of the Third World.' Well, New Orleans was Third World long before the hurricane.
Read more... )
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“One of the Worst Abandonments of Americans on American Soil Ever” 00 president of jefferson parish

I want to give you one last story and I’ll shut up and let you tell me whatever you want to tell me. The guy who runs this building I’m in, Emergency Management, he’s responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, “Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?” and he said, “Yeah, Mama, somebody’s coming to get you.” Somebody’s coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody’s coming to get you on Friday… and she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night! [Sobbing] Nobody’s coming to get us. Nobody’s coming to get us. The Secretary has promised. Everybody’s promised. They’ve had press conferences. I’m sick of the press conferences. For god’s sakes, just shut up and send us somebody.
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Barbara Bush: Things Working Out 'Very Well' for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans

By E&P Staff

Published: September 05, 2005 7:25 PM ET updated 8:00 PM

NEW YORK Accompanying her husband, former President George
H.W.Bush, on a tour of hurricane relief centers in
Houston, Barbara Bush said today, referring to the
poor who had lost everything back home and evacuated,
"This is working very well for them."

The former First Lady's remarks were aired this
evening on National Public Radio's "Marketplace"

She was part of a group in Houston today at the
Astrodome that included her husband and former
President Bill Clinton, who were chosen by her son,
the current president, to head fundraising efforts for
the recovery. Sen. Hilary Clinton and Sen. Barack
Obama were also present.

In a segment at the top of the show on the surge of
evacuees to the Texas city, Barbara Bush said: "Almost
everyone I’ve talked to says we're going to move to

Then she added: "What I’m hearing which is sort of
scary 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 (she
chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."


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