Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hastert: Rebuilding New Orleans "Doesn't Make Sense"

Posted by Greg Greene at 02:10 PM

Hastert: Rebuilding New Orleans "Doesn't Make Sense"

Quoth Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Speaker of the United States House of Representatives:

Lawmakers have to ask themselves if it's worth sinking possibly billions of federal dollars into rebuilding New Orleans, a low-lying city which would remain a vulnerable hurricane target even after clean up, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Wednesday.

"It doesn't make sense to me," said Hastert during an interview with the Daily Herald editorial board. "And it's a question that certainly we should ask."

Blog family diary to read and recommend...

Corinne Marasco (aka mini mum at Kos) has a diary up
Katrina Economics: Stop bankruptcy "reform" now

From My Vote is My Voice:
Today is the last date to vote for your favorite Demfest location so please do if you haven't already. Click

From My Left Wing
Dispatch from the heart of New Orleans by dhonig

It's Almost Official - The Trapped in NO Are Slowly Being Abandoned to Survive or Die
by shanikka

Also, I just found out from kos that has launched a site for those offering housing and those needing it.


  1. Renee is first - as are Howard and Jim :)

  2. LOL..I was trying to log in and then saw this thread. Just dropping by to say hello before I head off to a few hours of meetings.

    We're starting to find out about our people in the Field. All are safe, but most have lost their homes.

    Our company is going to do a major funding of support for them, and in general. Just got the email from the head honcho, who is a very sweet guy.

  3. SusanD said...
    He has been a rethug from day one and anyw work in Iowa or NH was probably just to sabatoge. We had some people from California come to AZ and some were really wonderful but we had a lot who came and did absolutely nothing and some who even came and then started talking up other candidates. It is the ones who want to go door to door on their own to worry about. All kinds of stuff happened.

    If you real the unmentionable's posts, they have always been right wing with a little left to throw us off everyone once in awhile. I think only recently how far right wing he really is, is coming to light. He is more of a neocon than most Republicans I know. And yet, he controls BFA. That is really sad.

    Speaking of McCain, a lot of people like him...including liberals...because they don't know him. Any decent votes he did have he is now taking an opposite position on...just like Bush did. Bush used to be pro-choice you know. It is all that money and influence of the extremists. They took McCain down in 2000, so now he made a deal with them for 2008. He's selling the little bit of soul he had left out to the fundamentalists. Just like Bush.

    Besides, McCain has been involved in all kinds of corruption that the public seems unaware of. Like the SNL crap. As my senator, I can say he has done nothing positive for Arizona or the nation as a whole. People like him because he pretends to be an independent and in AZ we have 30% independent voters. The nation as a whole probably has more since many more on both sides really consider themselves more independent even if they are registered with a party. That is why Perot got 17% running as a third party.

    McCain is a power grabber, just like Bush. All about ego. He is a senator of the most polluted state in the nation (tied with Texas and Nevada) one of the top 5 worst for education and children, and one of the worst for worker's rights. Unfortunately, no one will bother to do their homework on the opposition side so if he runs with a strong running mate, he will win. Especially since they own a good portion of the voting machines.

    Personally, I don't see 2008 as winnable for Dems. They are still acting like a bunch of scared, spineless worms and the public perception of them as a party leadership is still more negative than the rethugs. No one admires cowardice and while Bush can wrap his cowardice in 'patriotism' the Dems just come across as cowards. Period.

  4. Thanks, Denise.

    So much tragedy these days. It makes family (blood relatives as well as all other kinds of families, including this one) all the more important.

  5. Susan, that is good to hear about your employees.

  6. Did you see the new blog at BFA about Hastert and his "opinion" about rebuilding New Orleans?

    He is a colossal idiot

  7. I sent uinen an email last night about the shadow blog. Just got an answer, thanking me, and promising to show up. I didn't ask her, but doubt she'll mind my posting this from her email:

    I don't understand Renee. Where does she get the time, energy, and
    dedication? She's amazing!


    And I agree, completely!!

  8. Denise: be wary ~~ a lot of rPublicans are going to be saying that. Watch and see.

  9. The City of New Orleans
    by Steve Goodman

    Riding on the City of New Orleans,
    Illinois Central Monday morning rail
    Fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders,
    Three conductors and twenty-five sacks of mail.
    All along the southbound odyssey
    The train pulls out at Kankakee
    Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
    Passin' trains that have no names,
    Freight yards full of old black men
    And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

    Good morning America how are you?
    Don't you know me I'm your native son,
    I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
    I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

    Dealin' card games with the old men in the club car.
    Penny a point ain't no one keepin' score.
    Pass the paper bag that holds the bottle
    Feel the wheels rumblin' 'neath the floor.
    And the sons of pullman porters
    And the sons of engineers
    Ride their father's magic carpets made of steel.
    Mothers with their babes asleep,
    Are rockin' to the gentle beat
    And the rhythm of the rails is all they feel.


    Nighttime on The City of New Orleans,
    Changing cars in Memphis, Tennessee.
    Half way home, we'll be there by morning
    Through the Mississippi darkness
    Rolling down to the sea.
    And all the towns and people seem
    To fade into a bad dream
    And the steel rails still ain't heard the news.
    The conductor sings his song again,
    The passengers will please refrain
    This train's got the disappearing railroad blues.

    Good night, America, how are you?
    Don't you know me I'm your native son,
    I'm the train they call The City of New Orleans,
    I'll be gone five hundred miles when the day is done.

    ©1970, 1971 EMI U Catalogue, Inc and Turnpike Tom Music (ASCAP)

  10. Hillary 2008

    The Democrats in Congress have the power to block John Roberts from becoming the next Supreme Court justice.

    Will they? They will not.

    The Democrats in Congress had the power to block Christopher Cox from becoming the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    Did they? They did not.

    The Democrats in Congress had the power to block Condoleezza Rice and Alberto Gonzales.

    Did they? They did not.

    The Democrats in Congress have the power to at least propose impeachment proceedings against George Bush for the fabricated, illegal boomeranging war in Iraq.

    Will they? They will not.

    Almost every major progressive leader in America understands this. They understand that the Democratic Party is gone. But you know what? If Hillary Clinton is nominated in 2008 by the Democrats to run for president, they will support her.

    They will support her even though she is a corporate Democrat who opposes us on the war in Iraq, on real universal health insurance, on the swollen, wasteful military and corporate welfare budgets, on a national living wage – on many of the issues we care about.

    They will abandon their principles, their constituents, and the lessons of history – and support her. As they supported John Kerry in 2004 even though he was a corporate Democrat in the Hillary mold – who stood four-square against us on the war, on the military budget, on national health insurance, on a national living wage.

    Here’s the point:
    We will not shake off this yoke by playing follow the “leader.” This is going to take new energy. Young and old alike. But active. Bottom up. People who recognize first and foremost that the two corporate parties do not speak for the people. They are history. The new ones will connect – person to person – with their fellow citizens and fire up the country. They are the future. We don’t know the names of the new energizers yet. We will find out soon."

    ..."One person I greatly admired growing up was Saul Alinsky, the great community organizer from Chicago. Unlike the Democratic Party, Alinsky knew organizing. He knew that you need to organize people around issues they can understand. Issues that hit home. Issues that they can win.Even if it meant issues as mundane as parking or potholes. Alinsky wanted the people to organize – bottom up. And win to gain confidence for the larger struggles. Let Them Call Me Rebel.

    Let Them Call Me Rebel: Saul Alinsky, His Life and Legacy by Sanford Horwitt.

    “It becomes a contest of power – those who have money and those who have people,” Alinsky said. “We have nothing but people.” Once, at a dinner party, the poet Carl Sandburg called labor leader John L. Lewis a "reptilian, treasonous rat" because Lewis refused to support Franklin Roosevelt's campaign for re-election. Alinsky replied to Sandburg – “You say John L. Lewis is ruthless – maybe he is – but he has fought all of his life against the most ruthless and destructive forces known to our alleged civilization."
    From Ralph Nader's website
    2 books recommended:

    “Make the Iraq War and Occupation Personal"
    "Let Them Call Me a Rebel" by Sanford Horwitt.

  11. And I've got to get some sleep!! BBL

  12. So, Hastert doesn't want to rebuild NO. I guess that means he is willing to take in all the refugees. His district can feed, cloth, shelter and retrain folks.
    Oh, wait. Many of the displaced don't fit the demographic of his district. Oh, well. Let them eat cake.

  13. Thanks for the plug, Renee. It's already scrolled off the front page but I'm hoping Armando will promote it.

  14. Posted on Wed, Aug. 31, 2005

    Federal government wasn't ready for Katrina, disaster experts say

    By Seth Borenstein

    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    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.

    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."


  15. Regarding my post up above, once again the terrorists won.

  16. God Bless Steve Goodman - another Cubs fan. RIP.

    Hi franster!

    My colleague is late for this meeting. I hate the rudeness some people have in the workplace. Almost a half hour!

  17. franster, I just wonder what it will take to get the average person to actually *see* the heartlessness of so many of these elected Republicans.

    Just saw this on Daily Kos has launched a site for those offering housing and those needing it.

  18. Renee,
    Thanks for the second post. That is why Keli, Robert and the rest who agreed on BFA are so very wrong about the looting. The police and guard should be focused on getting people out and yes, disarming any psychos...but looting should be the last of their worries.

    Of course, isn't it like the New America that property is more valuable than people.

    With the exception of Dean, where the hell is Reid and Pelosi and the rest and why are they demanding more responsiveness and funding for the area immediately?

    They have been taking money from the Social Security funds to pay for the war for 3 years now. They can certainly take from it to get help.

    As far as the copters, they don't have bullet proof military ones? I just do not believe that it can be this difficult to get people out of there and restore some kind of order. Each day that goes by, I am willing to bet hundreds or thousands more will die. No food, no water, surrounded by toxic stuff.

  19. This part really enrages me:

    "I raged in tears last night with the DAH, who is frankly in shock. He asked how it is that folks can be *raising prices* for gas, for food, for everything? He asked how it is that there can be EMPTY hotel rooms that are not teeming with refugees because folks can't pay for them? How is it that Houston can TURN away refugees who made it there through hook and by crook merely because they didn't happen to have previously taken up residence in that hell otherwise known as the New Orleans Superdome? Why aren't we seeing every single private hotel/motel business, every single grocery chain, every single provider of clothes, NATIONWIDE, not fighting in line to be the first to *give* free, without charge, without profit motive, what is needed to help those still fleeing? Why are we seeing images of private (white) citizens who are obviously -- unlike those teeming the flooded streets around them -- well fed and well drunk enough to now be able to stand guard over their property with their own guns, instead of the police hustling them out telling them that their sense of property ownership is fundamentally misplaced right now and it's not all about THEM and their material possessions? It's about the dead and dying at the Superdome, in the Convention Center, in the flooded cities. From the heat, from shock, from hunger, from disease. They are dying.

    And yet FEMA is suspending the most efficient form of rescue operations."

  20. All of this is giving me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I went to the kitchen and found something for lunch, 'cause I'll feel worse if I don't eat. Now just to get it down. Kids will be home soon.

    Take a look at Atrios for more (if you can stand it) about the part poverty is playing in all of this.

  21. San Antonio taking 25,000 flood refugees

    AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 1 (UPI) -- San Antonio officials have agreed to take another 25,000 New Orleans refugees at the request of Louisiana, Texas Gov. Rick Perry's office announced Thursday.

    Perry spokesman Robert Black told the Houston Chronicle the decision was made after consulting with San Antonio and Bexar County officials. He said the logistics were still being worked out on where to house the disaster refugees.

    The 25,000 refugees in San Antonio would be in addition to the 25,000 that Texas already has agreed to house at the Astrodome in Houston.

  22. Hi Denise:

    I understand about your frustration. I'm always 20 mintues early and get really pissed if someone is 10 minutes lats. After all, I've been waiting a half hour! LOL

  23. Regarding New Orleans. It is easy to get caught up in the emotion of it. (Raging headache myself). The situation has exposed so many of the darker, buried, problems in our society. Big problems which will call for big answers.

    In order to get back a little serentity, perhaps we could brainstorm about things we could DO individually or as a group.

    Any idears?

  24. Let me be the kinder, gentler fly in the ointment on this matter. Obviously, nobody wants to see or even think of N'Orleans abandoned, but from a very practical standpoint that may be the only viable option. Key word being "viable." I was actually discussing this yesterday with a friend of mine and it is conceivable that pumping the water out of New Orleans, restoring the levees, and rebuilding the rest of the destroyed infrastructure - not to mention food, clothing, & shelter for the refugees - could run into the trillions when you factor in the government's reinsurance of insurance companies for catastrophic losses. It may be more cost effective to simply relocate the residents and condemn the entire city. Naturally, every resident of New Orleans will reject that out of hand, but unless the nation can find an extra trillion or two to rebuild - and BushCo has already ruled out diverting Iraq-bound resources - then it may already be fait accompli.

    If New Orleans is not to be condemned, how do we come up with the money to rebuild it? Bonds? If the top 1% of the country were to each donate $1 million then that would just about cover it. But what are the chances of that happening?

  25. We just got an unexpected flash flood here. I got my home windows closed in time but not my vehicle ones.

  26. franster said...
    That's a good point. Donating is one thing but if the supplies aren't getting to the people quickly enough. Are there any operations that will get on the group ASAP if we support them? I read yesterday Sean Penn wanted to get a boat and go there himself but was told just to donate. I want to hear exactly what the Redcross is doing there to help. It just does not sound good in any of the reports and I feel helpless where I am.

  27. Oscar In Louisville said...
    If the top 1% gave 10% of their personal earnnings this year (which they will get back in tax cuts anyway since they get an extra 8-10% through Bush) the money issue would be solved.

    But why would they? They are the ones that caused the poverty in this country to begin with.

    Looking to the thieves for compassion is like praying to the devil to go to heaven.

  28. Thursday, September 01, 2005
    Riding on the City of New Orleans

    Yes. Lest you think I live in ZuluLand: I do know about New Orleans. I've scarcely slept since last week. Right now, 'bout running on empty, haven't slept for more than twenty four hours, and that's following two forty-eight-hour periods without sleep.

    I kind of think it's a kind of PTSD, I was in the Russian River flooding of '95, and though that was not nearly as bad as this, New Orleans brings up feelings, images, anger that I thought had long gone away.
    You see, I know the drill. (I had a foot of water in my living room. Guerneville had 12 feet in the street. Multiply by wind damage squared by water depth equals New Orleans)

    more: clicky

  29. Oscar ~~ food, clothing, shelter for the refugees would be more if you *don't* rebuild. . . People can live in houses being rehabbed. Otherwise, they have to wait *somewhere* while something new is being built.

  30. That actually gave me an idea - way, way, way out there, but let's think outside of the box for a second - what if they built a completely new city somewhere else? Designed from the ground up to be the most efficient city on the planet. It would be a job bonanza, private enterprise could make a mint and it would be funded and overseen by the government. It sounds nice, and I know there's a couple really big devils in the details (funding anyone? Bueler? Bueler?) but it might be something to kick around, especially if the cost would be comporable to fixing the old city. Man, saying that like it's in the past tense is kinda depressing, but it is what it is, I guess. What do you think?

  31. Renee, per your request:

    Phil*from*Iowa. wrote on September 1, 2005 04:15 PM:

    OK I think I've set up a volunteer chain to get this on the choppers bringing people out to Baton Rogue.
    Water for Nurses
    Care of P.O. Box 20065
    Baton Rouge,LA 70803

    single cases of bottles sent priority mail first class no packaging except the plastic wrap from the stores wrapped in priority mail tape so the item in the package is clearly visible

    have the store give you a case CLEAR WRAPPED

    it will be used by refugees if not the nurses

    please cross post they will be able to use several hundred and THE MAIL MUST GO THROUGH

  32. oops, that was from cCool-reposting Phil's
    excellent work.

  33. Phil*from*Iowa. wrote on September 1, 2005 04:15 PM:

    OK I think I've set up a volunteer chain to get this on the choppers bringing people out to Baton Rogue.
    Water for Nurses
    Care of P.O. Box 20065
    Baton Rouge,LA 70803

  34. If I were a terrorist I would be so happy now. Seeing how the US government is completely incompetant in dealing with their own local disasters, how easy it will be to start attacking their power plants and other key areas.

    US -4
    Terrorists +4

  35. Oscar, do you think if it was Texas anyone would even have a discussion on Rebuilding? Or Florida which has many areas that are just as hurricane prone?

    I say rebuild and have all the supplies donated by the insurance companies, contractors, etc who have been ripping off the American people for decades.

  36. From the GOP website:
    Thursday, September 01, 2005
    Remarks By The President After Meeting With President George H.W. Bush And President Bill Clinton

    THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. Thanks for coming. I'm honored to be with former Presidents Bush and Clinton. Thank you all for being here. We just spent some time talking about the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. I brought them up to date on what I know about the latest developments there on the ground. We're united in our sympathy; we're united in our determination to help the good people that have been affected by this hurricane.

    I'm in close contact with Secretary Chertoff. He was in the Oval Office earlier today. He's in close contact with FEMA Director Brown.

    I want to make sure I fully understand the relief efforts and the extent of the relief efforts and the progress of the relief efforts. After all, we're dealing with one of the largest relief efforts in our nation's history, and the federal government has got an important role to play. Our first priority, of course, is to save lives. There are over 80 FEMA teams that have been deployed to the Gulf Coast to conduct search and rescue missions. I want to thank those who are working long hours for their dedication to saving lives. We've got Coast Guard folks and Navy and Army and Air Force and National Guardsmen from many different states that are delivering needed supplies and providing the rescue missions, trying to reach those in danger.

    We're working hard to repair the breaches in the levees. Federal, state, and local agencies are also cooperating to sustain life. That means getting food and water to those who are stranded. Medical personnel and local officials are helping hospital patients and people gathered in the Superdome to evacuate. Again, I want to thank the folks in Texas for welcoming those people. Bus caravans are shuttling back and forth between Houston and New Orleans to get those folks to Houston. Law enforcement and National Guardsmen and local leaders are working to restore public order.

    Earlier today, General Blum, along with Mike Chertoff, gave me a briefing about the number of Guards-folks trained in police work that will be moving into New Orleans, as well as other law enforcement officials from around the area. As we speak, people are moving into the New Orleans area to maintain law and order. I thank them for their good work. Government agencies are working with faith-based and community groups to find shelters for thousands of displaced persons.

    And finally, we're moving forward with a comprehensive recovery strategy. We're working hard to restore electric power, repair transportation infrastructure, restart energy production, and of course, strategize as to how to provide housing for these folks. I met with Chairman Greenspan at lunch, as well as the economic team, to evaluate the impact of Hurricane Katrina. We particularly spent a lot of time talking about the damage done to our energy infrastructure and its effect on the availability and price of gasoline.

    In our judgment, we view this storm as a temporary disruption that is being addressed by the government and by the private sector. We've taken immediate steps to address the issue. The Secretary of Energy is approving loans of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The EPA has provided a temporary nationwide waiver for fuel requirements so supplies of gasoline can move more easily within our country and so that we can attract more gasoline from overseas.

    We're also working with energy companies to repair and reactivate major refineries and pipelines. The good folks must understand that major refineries have been shut down, which means it's going to be hard to get gasoline to some markets. We're working to help these pipelines get up and running. Pipelines carry refined product.

    And so we're working with the majors -- major oil companies to get the -- with Colonial Pipeline so they can carry the products of the major oil companies, the refined products. Right now, the Colonial Pipeline, which is a major pipeline serving the East Coast, is back in operation, but only at 50 percent capacity. We anticipate that as the days go by, more and more of that capacity will be restored. Other major pipelines are coming back online. But as I said, we're going to have a temporary disruption of gasoline product.

    Another challenge we face is that the downed pipelines are causing the need to transport gasoline to needed markets by ship. Under current law, shipping between American ports can only take place on American ships, and there are currently not enough American ships to move the oil and gasoline to where it's needed. So today I've instructed Secretary of Homeland Security Chairman Chertoff to temporarily waive this requirement, so foreign ships can also help distribute oil and gasoline to where it's needed. Today's action will further help us move gasoline to accommodate the demands of the American citizens.

    Steps we're taking will help address the problem of availability, but it's not going to solve it. Americans should be prudent in their use of energy during the course of the next few weeks. Don't buy gas if you don't need it.

    This recovery is going to be a long process. It's going to take a lot of hard work and patience and resolve. It's also going to require a lot of money. And the federal government will do its part. But the private sector needs to do its part, as well. And that's why I've asked Presidents Bush and Clinton to lead a nationwide fundraising effort to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

    In the days ahead, the former Presidents will ask Americans to open their hearts and their wallets to help those in need. And they're going to talk to large corporations and small businesses and individual citizens across the nation. The contributions will benefit the relief organizations that are doing vital work on the ground. We're going to take a look and make sure that the money raised is money needed. Right now if our fellow citizens want to help, they ought to give a cash donation to the Red Cross, which they can find at phone number 1-800-HELP-NOW.

    I was so proud of the efforts that President Clinton and President Bush did to help the victims of the tsunami relief. Our country marveled at their capacity to rally our citizens and to work together. And, once again, I've asked them to work to help the needs of those who hurt. And, once again, I'm confident that the American people will respond.

    I know this is an agonizing time, or we all know this is an agonizing time for the people of the Gulf Coast. I ask their continued patience as recovery operations unfold. I can assure them that the thoughts and prayers of the entire nation are with them and their loved ones. I'm also confident that when it's all said and done, the efforts to rebuild the great city of New Orleans and to rebuild those communities in Mississippi and to help the folks in Alabama will make this nation a stronger place.

    May God bless you all.

  37. What he is REALLY saying is "Cheney, I and all my friends are going to get rich while you taxpayers will pay and the people of NO and MS will suffer. Suckers!"

    Interesting how he had to tell us what a pipeline does.

    Americans are the dumbest people in the world. No one with a brain would vote for this idiot.

  38. Why don't they give the private sector the kind of tax cuts on their donations that they give corporations? Always leave it to the good people to clean up the messes of the evil ones.

  39. Just stopping by to say "hi" and it's good to see Oscar here!

    If you want to see something REALLY ironic, take a look at this url (I'm not sure how to post links that you can click to here, technically challenged as I am):
    US welcomes any aid offers from abroad 2005-09-02 03:44:14

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States, suffering from heavy death toll and economic losses wrought by Hurricane Katrina, will accept any offers of aid from abroad, the White House said Thursday.

    "We are open to all offers of assistance from other nations, and I would expect we would take people up on offers of assistance when it's necessary," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

    Well, a little role reversal is needed, but when I read this, I almost believed that it was satire.

  40. The only Texas town in that kind of danger would be Galveston (maybe Houston, but I doubt it) and - while I obviously can't speak for BushCo - I would be weighing the same options in that case too, although Galveston is much smaller than New Orleans. But it would be interesting to see what the reaction would be if it were Houston or Miami. One thing that is unique to this situation is that New Orleans is a costal town that is situated below sea level. That poses some very unique problems regarding a few billion gallons of water and gravity, but the bottom line in either case is getting the money. How do we raise the money to rebuild or restart from scratch?

    BTW, new thread.

  41. Well, we can raise the taxes on the rich, make corporations start paying their share again, and get out of Iraq. We would have a trillion in less than 5 years if we did that.

    BTW California also has cities below sea level. It will be rebuilt either by private corporations that will exploit it for profit or by Bush & Co that will do the same.

  42. Stories like this are indeed heartening, but why should private citizens HAVE to do this when BushCo is literally throwing away billions in an unnecessary war across the globe? And killing people and ruining their lives in ways that are every bit as destructive, if not more, as Katrina?

    Need is vast, but so is outpouring
    Private donations for hurricane victims may reach a billion dollars.
    By Kris Axtman | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

    BATON ROUGE, LA. – The Chatmans popped the trunk on their aging Oldsmobile and pulled out garbage bags bursting with baby formula, clothes, shoes, sheets, and food.

    The Baton Rouge family didn't know anyone affected by hurricane Katrina. But when they heard a local television station was a designated donation drop-off location, they gathered up all they could and headed into town.

    It's at

  43. Oscar ~~ And Haliburton would get the contract, right? Think the pReznit's friends would be absolutely delighted.

    1. Columbia, MD is a planned city. It's pretty dreadful. When we were house hunting there, in the 60's, and it wasn't even finished, we'd go every weekend. After four of those, we decided not. The eye got tired of looking for the imperfect: something normal. Like a telephone pole, or a garbage can, or a piece of paper blowing down the street. It promptly had the biggest drug problem in Montgomery County.

    2. Government planning. I assume you've seen some variety of "the projects"

    #3. LOL! Two kinds of people in the world. The buy a new house, it's got no problems. OR Rehab an old house, it's got charm.

    For the people of N'Orleans I assume belong in large blocks to the second group.

    The one group I don't know about is the very poorest of the poor: they may well prefer new, clean, concrete boxes to where they've been. Let *them* vote.