Tag: Louisiana

“Big Easy to Big Empty”

by Greg Palast is a documentary that must be seen if one is to understand what’s going on in New Orleans after Katrina and the Federal Flood. Palast’s tough, gutsy journalism reminds me of what “60 Minutes” was, back in the day when that program had cojones. Palast, investigating what really happened in New Orleans on 8/29/2005, interviews then-LSU professor Ivor Van Heerden. Van Heerden says speaking to Palast could endanger his job due to the political connections of higher-ups–and we all know what happened to Van Heerden.

Palast also interviews flood victims discouraged in one way or another from returning home and the nefarious machinations behind attempts to discourage their return.

Here, then is “Big Easy to Big Empty.”

Never forget, never forgive

Nearly four and a half years ago this nation experienced the two worst disasters of this past decade: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans’ federal flood. Today many consider them old news, if not history, but they still are present in the lives of those who survived them.

Sen. Tom Coburn is an Evil Scumbucket

And this is why: He must hate Louisiana and her people. Coburn, whose state obviously never has had a major disaster (judging from his behavior) introduced an amendment to the Senate healthcare bill stripping it of the $300 million Mary Landrieu had had added to help Louisiana make up for what would be a catastrophic Medicaid shortfall.

Talk about kicking somebody when they’re down–Louisiana seriously needs this money.

Obama’s “Tinkle-Stop Tour” of NOLA

Today Obama will be making an extremely short stop in New Orleans. Or what my favorite NOLA blogger calls a “tinkle-stop tour.” In New Orleans, he’ll be visiting a charter school and participating in a town hall meeting in the Lower 9th Ward.

(In contrast, his next stop will be San Francisco, where he’ll be spending four times as much time–16 hours. This has caused Harry Shearer to say,

Total elapsed time in SF: sixteen hours.  They must have experienced a hell of a federal disaster there.  Four times worse, you figure?

Katrina Shorthand vs. the Federal Flood: Why This Matters

Often when people including those in government and the mainstream media who should know better refer to the events of 8/29, it is merely as “Katrina” or “Hurricane Katrina”.

There were actually two catastrophes that happened that day: the storm, which passed to the east of New Orleans, devastating the Mississippi and eastern Louisiana Gulf Coasts, which was a NATURAL disaster, and the falling apart of New Orleans’ federally-built and maintained levees, which was a MANMADE disaster due to poor engineering.

While the use of Katrina as shorthand to cover the two events is easy (I’ve even done that at times) it’s misleading because of the implication that the flooding of New Orleans was a natural disaster. And this matters–more below the fold.

I’m Depressed on This Anniversary…

I should be feeling better–after all, Obama did commemorate Katrina and the flood in his radio address this morning. To his credit he also brought up levees and coastal restoration. But only time will tell if these words will be backed up by action or be mere empty words.

I have been upset and feel as if I’m almost physically ill. I cannot help but flash back, see the scenes of rescues and of the afflicted at the Superdome and the Convention Center and think of how so many suffered during Katrina and the federal flood and are still suffering. And I can’t help but wonder if Obama really cares about New Orleans. Because when I remember what happened during the flood and Katrina which turned the lives of so many upside down and think about the fact that Obama won’t be going there (which he wasn’t going to do anyway even if Ted Kennedy hadn’t passed) I’m depressed.

And others are also turned off by the fact that Obama has paid so little attention to Louisiana and her problems and those of her neighbors in the Gulf Region–a wound which Obama’s absence from Katrina observances has rubbed salt into. More below the fold…

Friday Night at 8: Loose Threads


I’m smarter than President Obama!  Really.  It’s true.

I’ll bet he can’t write beat poetry worth shit.

He has not memorized every single story in Nathan Ausubel’s “Jewish Wit & Wisdom.”  And let me tell you, that’s a LOT of stories, like hundreds and hundreds of them!

Yeah, I’m smarter than President Obama.

I’ll bet he doesn’t have a clue as to how the internet has expanded the political consciousness of certain DFH’s and activists of all kinds who have leaped into the new paradigms like fearless parachute divers.

Come to think of it, THEY’RE smarter than President Obama, too!

Ted Kennedy and NOLA

Among all of his other accomplishments, Ted Kennedy can be remembered since Katrina and the federal flood happened as a legislator who proactively did what he could to help New Orleans’ and the rest of the Gulf Region’s people after the catastrophe.  

NOLA Looks As If McCain Were President

Where are the hope and change in New Orleans? When Barack Obama was a presidential candidate, he promised that

he would “keep the broken promises made by President Bush to rebuild New Orleans and the Gulf Coast” and take steps to prevent failures in emergency planning and response seen during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Specifically, Obama would ensure New Orleans has a levee and pumping system to protect the city against a 100-year storm by 2011, free up rebuilding funds that had been allocated but not released and to rebuild hospitals and schools.

Why Obama Should Be in NOLA on Katrina Anniversary

The deathers are all worried about how old folks will be treated under Democratic health care legislation.

Perhaps they have forgotten how old folks were treated under Republican rule:


How many old folks died because our federal government saw no role to play in protecting and caring for its citizens?

See, the trouble with not looking back is that we don’t remember what we ought to remember.

Katrina is something to remember.  Always.  The federal flood, they call it on the NOLA blogs.  The federal flood because the Army Corps of Engineers cut corners and didn’t make the levees right.  The federal flood because heckuva job Brownie and Bush’s happy cronies didn’t give a shit about the folks suffering but only cared about going to the cash register to hear the “ca-ching” that meant their usual profit off of human suffering.  Blackwater profited.  Halliburton profited.  A whole lot of Republicans profited.

Let’s ask Obama to have New Orleans musicians play at the Inaugural

(NOTE: This diary was originally posted on Daily Kos by azureblue, a musician who got his start in New Orleans. Per a request he made to readers in a comment under that diary, I am crossposting it here–because he and I feel this is an idea that needs as much attention and exposure as possible so hopefully Obama will pick up on it.)

The title says it all, but this grew out of a discussion last night about Obama’s love for jazz, and the possibility of him having jazz players at the inauguration:

Fish Rot

Over at the NOLA blog Gentilly Girl, Morwen has a very disturbing story about an “idea” put forth by State Representative John LaBruzzo.

I didn’t watch Bush’s speech.  I can’t abide looking at or listening to him.

But from what I’ve read on the blogs, he is maintaining the Republican talking point of blaming this economic problem on homeowners, citizens, everyone but the big business monopolies who created this situation.

The old saying is that the fish rots from the head down.

So now we have a Representative from Jefferson Parish suggesting poor folks be sterilized.  That the solution to poverty is to just get rid of those pesky poor people.

According to Raw Story:

State Representative John LaBruzzo of Metairie said many of his constituents are tired of paying for children from poor families and that is why he is considering proposing legislation that would pay women on government assistance $1,000 if they choose to be sterilized.

“You have these people who are just fed up with working their buns off to try to provide for their own family and being forced by the government o provide for others’ families who just want to have unlimited kids,” he said.

LaBruzzo said he is studying voluntary sterilization for women whose sole financial support comes from the government in the form of welfare or other public assistance. His idea would be to give the women $1,000 if they had their tubes tied.

His proposal has come under harsh criticism by some civil rights groups.

The ACLU called it a misguided and mean-spirited attempt to eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor.

This is eugenics, of course.  Like … hmm … oh yeah, the Nazis did.  Because LaBruzzo finds the beauty part of this plan in the fact that once we get rid of all those undesirables, the “right” kind of people can repopulate the difference, huzzah!

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