"New Orleans: A Green Genocide"

I'm not going to go quite that far, but FPM says:

...Decades ago, the Green Left - pursuing its agenda of valuing wetlands and topographical "diversity" over human life - sued to prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from building floodgates that would have prevented significant flooding that resulted from Hurricane Katrina...
...The New Orleans Army Corps of Engineers and Professor Stone were not the only people cognizant of the consequences that could and did result because of the environmental activists. While speaking with Sean Hannity on his radio show on Labor Day, former Louisiana Congressman and Speaker of the House Bob Livingston also referred to environmentalists whose litigation prevented hurricane prevention projects...
...in 1977, a state environmentalist group known as Save Our Wetlands (SOWL) sued to have it stopped. SOWL stated the proposed Rigolets and Chef Menteur floodgates of the Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Prevention Project would have a negative effect on the area surrounding Lake Pontchartrain. Further, SOWL's recollection of this case demonstrates they considered this move the first step in a perfidious design to drain Lake Pontchartrain entirely and open the area to dreaded capitalist investment...

$10.5 billion hurricane relief almost gone

As of this evening, the $10.5 billion from the original hurricane relief bill will probably all have been spent, the AP reports budget aides as having said.
The next proposal would spend over $50 billion in less than two months. As for the investigation:

...Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada said on the Senate floor that such a probe, led by Republican lawmakers, would be as unbiased as having a baseball pitcher "call his own balls and strikes."
He said Democrats would support the $51.8 billion spending bill, but he complained that most of the money would go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- "Is there anyone, anyone, who believes that we should continue to let the money go to FEMA?" -- and said further measures were needed to deal with health care, housing and education...

Yet another long schoolbus thread

This one was posted on Sep. 2 and has been updated with information, counts, etc. As requested here, I'd really like to find a USA Today-style summary of how many there were, where they were, and what went wrong.
UPDATE: Here's yet another long schoolbus thread. It also discusses the priority Hyatt evacuation.
9/19/05 UPDATE: Here's another one.

New Democrat slogan includes f-word

AFP offers us "Vice President Cheney heckled on hurricane tour", informing us that the VP was talking to reporters in Gulfport, MS when a bystander came up and, in AFP's words, said:

"Go f---(expletive) yourself Mr. Cheney!"
"Go f---(expletive) yourself!"

My sources inform me that the "f---" above is indeed the word "fuck."
Needless to say, those at Daily "Screw 'em" Kos are ecstatic about this news:

Is this a sign? Are we starting to hear the people revolt? I am thinking about this spontaneous event and I'm thinking that this moment should be repeated many, many times!!! Shall we call this...
THE RUDE AWAKENING MOVEMENT?
Oh, and here's The Vice President's email: vic...
This is it, guys!!! This is the rallying cry!!!
We are going to hear this on the news -- over and over again! It is a pivotal moment in this story!!!

Now, if only Howard Dean will adopt this as the new Democratic Party slogan we'll have Republican rule for the next century.
The Drossacks also provide this (unconfirmed) CNN transcript:

[Jack] Cafferty: "Didn't he say that to Patrick Leahy on the Senate floor?"
[Wolf] Blitzer: "Yes."
C: "So how could this have been the first time he heard it?"
B: "First time he heard it in this area."
C: "I'm sure it won't be the last."

Nagin on schoolbuses vs. Greyhound

NewsMax reminds us of this bit from mayor Ray Nagin's impassioned 9/1 interview on WWL radio:

"I need 500 buses, man," he told WWL. "One of the briefings we had they were talking about getting, you know, public school bus drivers to come down here and bus people out of here."
Nagin described his response:
"I'm like - you've got to be kidding me. This is a natural disaster. Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get their asses moving to New Orleans."
While Nagin was waiting for his Greyhound fleet, Katrina's floodwaters swamped his school buses, rendering them unusable.

Replaying the run-up to the hurricane

This August 27 Metafilter thread lets you see the reactions to the coming hurricane from their (small sample set of) users. It covers the time until just after the disaster. And, it includes several warnings, like this:

If you are near the coast and in the cone for Katrina YOU SHOULD NOT BE LOOKING AT THIS PAGE - prepare and evacuate if necessary

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Why the school buses weren't used

Apparently, they weren't used because... all the New Orleans Public Schools drivers had evacuated the city. At least, that's what this completely unconfirmed report says:

I sent an email to Alvarez and Marsal (business managers of New Orleans Public Schools) and asked them why they did not make the school buses available to evacuate the citizens of New Orleans.
Their answer:

Thank you for your question. School buses were not used as all the NOPS transportation employees were also individuals who evacuated the city. Thanks.

Of course, others (like those trying to get the heck out) could have driven the buses, but I guess that wasn't considered or would have been against policy...
Once again, this report is not yet confirmed.

Levee corruption: flashback to Nov 29 2004

From a DOJ press release of Nov. 29, 2004:

Shreveport, Louisiana . . . A federal grand jury has returned two separate indictments charging three members of the State Military Department with offenses related to the obstruction of an audit of the use of federal funds for flood mitigation activities throughout Louisiana, United States Attorney Donald W. Washington announced today.
Two of the individuals charged, MICHAEL C. APPE, 51, of Mandeville, Louisiana, and MICHAEL L. BROWN, 61, of St. Francisville, Louisiana, are senior employees of the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Both APPE and BROWN are charged with conspiracy to obstruct a federal audit; BROWN is additionally charged with making a false statement.
The Hazardous Mitigation Grant Program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is designed to fund mitigation projects to prevent future flood losses or flood claims made upon the National Flood Insurance Program. BROWN was responsible for overall management the program in Louisiana; APPE was responsible for managing employees who perform fiscal transactions regarding these funds.
The indictment alleges that during an audit of the program being conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector General, a State Military Department employee realized that $175,000 in expenditures of federal monies was improper in that the money was not used for purposes authorized by the federal program and would therefore have to be re-paid to the federal government. This employee notified APPE, who in turn directed the employee to provide false documents to the federal auditors...

Howard Dean channels Al Sharpton

MIAMI -- Race was a factor in the death toll from Hurricane Katrina, Howard Dean told members of the National Baptist Convention of America on Wednesday at the group's annual meeting.
Dean, chairman of the Democratic party, made the comments to the Baptists' Political and Social Justice Commission. The Baptist Convention, with an estimated 3.5 million members, is one of the largest black religious groups in the country.
"We must ... come to terms with the ugly truth that skin color, age and economics played a deadly role in who survived and who did not," Dean said...

Just a few days ago, the Right Reverend Al Sharpton said: "I feel race was a factor".

Moveon.org won't use refugees in anti-Roberts ad

Yesterday, a MoveOn.org "staff member" told a USA Today reporter that that fine organization was going to use Katrina refugees in an ad opposing the John Roberts confirmation ("Group's TV ad uses storm's aftermath to target Roberts").
Now, the airbrushes have been broken out and history is being rewritten. From "Group says it won't use victim images in Roberts ads":

A liberal interest group Thursday denied it ever planned to use televised images of poverty-stricken evacuees from Hurricane Katrina as part of a provocative, last-minute effort to divert federal Judge John Roberts' path to confirmation as chief justice.
MoveOn.org Political Action's advocacy director Ben Brandzel had laid out plans for such an ad to USA TODAY on Wednesday. But Thursday, the group's executive director said "we regret any misunderstanding that may have arisen because of anything that our staff member might have told USA TODAY's reporter."
"We have no plans, and have never had plans, to produce such an ad," Eli Pariser added...

Previously: "Moveon.org to use refugees in White House protest"

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