Sunday, September 11, 2005

Where the news cycle is going to go


Maybe. The news cycle looks to diversify this week, as Katrina coverage moves on and other stories regain attention (Roberts, Iraq.) Here's ABC's The Note from Friday:

And/but the Gang of 500's ceaseless quest for the new has it waiting for the following shoes to drop (although these shoes might never hit the ground):

1. The naming of a reconstruction czar — although if it is not a Gang favorite like Giuliani or Powell, the choice will be a serious letdown.

2. The axing of Mike "Brownie" Brown — and if you are a political appointee at FEMA and you padded your resume, we suggest you, uhm, start polishing up your resume.

3. The delivery of a primetime presidential address with soaring Mike Gerson flourishes — although Karen Hughes will re-edit it, presumably.

4. The continued sinking of the President's poll numbers — although as Paul Krugman will tell you, the 9/11 anniversary will be soon upon us.

5. The effort to maximize the aforementioned potential 9/11-related boost in the face of a fresher national tragedy — Note the hurricane does not hate freedom.

Sunday's ink explores what went wrong with New Orleans and the surrounding area.

If you were watching CNN the day before Cat 6 Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, you probably saw the liberal use of Walter Maestri's interview conducted before the hurricane. Maestri, in remarkably clear language, outlined what a disaster like this hurricane could mean to the region. He was 100 percent correct. He ledes the WaPo account on A01 today, and the day of this phone call was August 26:

Hurricane Katrina had barreled into the Gulf of Mexico, and Mayfield's latest forecast had it smashing into New Orleans as a Category 4 or 5 storm Monday morning. Maestri already had 10,000 body bags in his parish, in case he ever got a call like this.

"This could be the one," Mayfield told him.

Maestri heard himself gasp: "Oh, my God."

The New York Times ledes with Governor Blanco and the frustrating search for buses, LINK. Excerpt:

The official autopsies of the flawed response to the catastrophic storm have already begun in Washington, and may offer lessons for dealing with a terrorist attack or even another hurricane this season. But an initial examination of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath demonstrates the extent to which the federal government failed to fulfill the pledge it made after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to face domestic threats as a unified, seamless force.

Instead, the crisis in New Orleans deepened because of a virtual standoff between hesitant federal officials and besieged authorities in Louisiana, interviews with dozens of officials show.

The Chicago Tribune's review:

But a Tribune review found all the plans suffered from fatal problems: Some state and local plans didn't deal with issues such as rescuing people from flooded homes. Others deflected problems such as evacuations from the local government into the laps of the poorest citizens. And still others, including the federal government's much-touted plan for dealing with disasters in the post-Sept. 11 era, were not implemented quickly enough.

Guess who is getting the reconstruction dollars, CNN reports:

At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.

Sixty percent of oil refinery capacity in the Gulf has been restored, NY Times.

Cornel West in the Guardian:

Kanye West said the President does not care about black people, he was right, although the effects of his policies are different from what goes on in his soul. You have to distinguish between a racist intent and the racist consequences of his policies. Bush is still a 'frat boy', making jokes and trying to please everyone while the Neanderthals behind him push him more to the right.

Poverty has increased for the last four or five years. A million more Americans became poor last year, even as the super-wealthy became much richer. So where is the trickle-down, the equality of opportunity?


Black faces in high places does not mean racism is over. Condoleezza Rice has sold her soul.

Now the black bourgeoisie have an even heavier obligation to fight for the 33 per cent of black children living in poverty - and to alleviate the spiritual crisis of hopelessness among young black men.

Bush talks about God, but he has forgotten the point of prophetic Christianity is compassion and justice for those who have least.

He calls for a Marshall Plan for the American South. Maybe we ought to do reconstruction right. Anyone catch that?

September 11

Juan Cole reflects on the anniversary today, LINK. Stinging Modern Poetry:

That the government could cut taxes on the low-income earners, and not cut them on the super-rich, doesn't seem to occur to the middle class that is so eager for a few crumbs from Bush that they are willing to sell their birthright to government services.

George W. Bush, in a desperate effort to restore his public standing, used an allusion to 9/11 on his third trip to the Gulf Coast and the Hurricane zone. The question before us now is: do we want to have a government that saves lives and restores/preserves order? Or do we want to live in the 19th century, or in August 31 in New Orleans?

The central idea behind everything compassionate and good in civilization is to imagine the plight of those that are worse off than you are and to do something about it.


Shiite and Sunni revenge killings increase in Iraq, raising fears for sectarian violence, Los Angeles Times.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering if this blog was shutting down. You just came back today in a BIG way. Great post!

8:05 PM  

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