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CNN, others buy amateur footage; amateur buys building materials

Someone who stayed behind in Slidell, Louisiana filmed the experience of things like his TV floating out the door. Now, he's sold the footage to CNN and others. Apparently it's enough to help him do some repairs.


2005 Person of the Year: Katrina? Nobodies say yes

A team of notables has highly recommended that Time magazine select Hurricane Katrina as their 2005 Person of the Year. Those making this suggestion are:

NBC anchor Brian Williams...
CNN's Anderson Cooper...
Time reporter Matthew Cooper...
Democratic political consultant Donna Brazile...
conservative activist Grover Norquist...
WorldCom whistleblower Cynthia Cooper, named a Person of the Year by the magazine in 2002...

Yes, exactly: who cares what they think?
In fact, Brian Williams wants to broaden the selection a bit to include Gaia, which would cover global warming, tsunamis, the Pakistan earthquake, global warming, and global warming.

"Katrina gets you to Iraq. It gets you to petroleum. It gets you to presidential politics," Williams said. "It has laid bare so many cracks and fissures in our system."

St. Tammany having FEMA issues; Prez wanted four-times rent

CNN reports in "Parish president: FEMA still fumbling" that the Prez of St. Tammany Parish, Kevin Davis, is not satisfied with FEMA's endless red tape:

...Davis cited as an example his request for trailers to house parish residents and emergency workers currently living in shelters and tents.
"I've met with so many FEMA officials outside of my liaison officer; it's just I can't get a response," he complained...

Only at the 12th paragraph of the story do you get this:

...FEMA spokeswoman Nicol Andrews said the agency expects to have more than 1,000 housing units in the area up and running shortly, but that Davis himself has been part of the problem, recommending to the agency that his construction company be hired to develop a property to which he has personal ties.
Davis also asked that FEMA pay $7,000 per acre per month for the property -- more than four times its value, FEMA's Andrews said in an e-mailed response.
Since then, Davis dropped his lease rate "to a reasonable monthly amount," and federal officials have nearly finalized a deal to put housing on the site, which can accommodate as many as 1,000 units, she said.
In addition, FEMA has already installed more than 120 mobile homes in the parish, she said...
...Davis did not immediately return a call seeking further comment...

Ninth Ward re-flooding due to Rita

There are apparently at least three breaches:

Dozens of blocks in the Ninth Ward were under water as a waterfall at least 30 feet wide poured over and through a dike that had been used to patch breaks in the Industrial Canal levee. On the street that runs parallel to the canal, the water ran waist-deep and was rising fast. Guidry said water was rising about three inches a minute...
Sally Forman, an aide to Mayor Ray Nagin, said officials knew the levees were compromised, but they believe that the Ninth Ward is cleared of residents.
"I wouldn't imagine there's one person down there," Forman said.
Mitch Frazier, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers, said contractors were being brought in Friday morning in an effort to repair the new damage. The corps had earlier installed 60-foot sections of metal across some of the city's canals to protect against flooding and storm surges...

There's more in "New Orleans' 9th Ward floods":

...CNN photojournalist Alfredo DeLara echoed his observations. "We're talking 5 to 10 inches in the one to two minutes we were standing in this one spot," he said. "There's nothing stopping that water from just pouring in."
"The Army Corps of Engineers placed a lot of sand here with helicopters, with earthmoving equipment, and tried to shore it up. But it looks like it didn't hold," he said...

Oddly enough, that appears to have replaced an earlier CNN report (apparently no longer on CNN's site) that included the following now missing bit:

Nagin expressed confidence that the levees would hold.
"The Army Corps of Engineers has done some work to assure us that they can handle that type of storm surge in the current condition at our levees," Nagin told reporters.

Many refugees have arrest records

The AP has an article that CNN has titled "Auhorities search for criminals among hurricane refugees" and Fox has titled "Half Katrina Refugees Have Records". The article's the same, and the truth is somewhere between the two headlines.
Not half of all refugees have such records, just around half of those making up the refugee groups that the AP mentions. And, of course, the CNN headline is too PC to point out that many in those groups have such records.
The Communist-founded ACLU offers the following response to the news that authorities are running police checks on refugees:

"I think it's happening partly because who these people are and where they came from," said Steve Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island ACLU. "The mere fact that people have past criminal records in and of itself doesn't say anything about harm to the community."

Yes, except some of them have outstanding warrants, and some of those records were for violent felonies. Let's send all those people to stay at the houses of ACLU members.

"A disturbing view from inside FEMA": An odd CNN, FEMA, Blanco loop

This CNN report has a lot of filler, but it does link to a segment on a "whistleblower". But, it also ends up being CNN reporting on someone who apparently used CNN as a source for remarks by Blanco, which are then re-reported by CNN:

"We told these fellows that there was a killer hurricane heading right toward New Orleans," Leo Bosner, a 26-year FEMA employee and union leader told CNN. "We had done our job, but they didn't do theirs."
Bosner's storm warning came early Saturday, three days before Hurricane Katrina came ashore in eastern Louisiana.
"New Orleans is of particular concern because much of that city lies below sea level," he warned in his daily alert to Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff, then-FEMA chief Michael Brown and other Bush administration officials.
"If the hurricane winds blow from a certain direction, there are dire predictions of what may happen in the city," it said.

Those quotes appear to have originated with Gov. Kathleen Blanco, and not Bosner. I don't know if this National Situation Update: Saturday, August 27, 2005 is what that's refering to, but it attributes those last two quotes to Blanco, and it cites "Various media sources" as its sources.
Those quotes appear to have first appeared in CNN's Aug. 26 article "Forecasters: Katrina to aim for Mississippi, Louisiana":

In anticipation of a possible landfall, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco declared states of emergency Friday.
Blanco said "very well-coordinated evacuations" were planned that will be enacted "if there's a direct threat."
New Orleans is of particular concern because much of that city lies below sea level.
"It's always a huge concern, because there's a very large lake, Lake Pontchartrain, that sits next to New Orleans, and if the hurricane winds blow from a certain direction there are dire predictions of what may happen in that city," Blanco said.

What an odd loop! There's a possibility she was quoting Bosner, or CNN got its attributions wrong. Let's ask them and find out.
And, from Sep 11's "FEMA Weathers Storm From Critics":

So what happened as Katrina approached? On the Saturday morning two days before the hurricane struck, FEMA's watch commanders issued a warning.
"We put a situation report out at 5:30 a.m. saying a catastrophic hurricane is headed straight, dead-center for New Orleans and Brown and Chertoff and these people did nothing," Leo Bosner says.

CNN has roundup, questions

CNN offers 'People making decisions hesitated'. They ask a few questions which, at some point in time, they may actually end up asking of those people to whom the questions would best be addressed. And, they link to a few of their video reports.


CNN on the Gretna bridge incident

CNN offers their take in "Racism, resources blamed for bridge incident". It doesn't appear to be original reporting so much as a compilation of what was said on various CNN shows including Anderson Cooper and Aaron Brown.
Gretna police chief Arthur Lawson says that Gretna was locked down, and had no resources to take care of thousands of evacuees. He also says he hasn't spoken to the officers involved about this, but CNN also says, "to his knowledge, no officers fired shots near the crowd."
CNN also extensively quotes Lorrie Beth Slonsky and Larry Bradshaw, the paramedics and authors of the most-quoted report.
However, oddly enough!, no form of the word "socialism" appears in the CNN report. Isn't that a bit... odd?
As a semi-reputable news organization, shouldn't CNN at least spend a couple seconds wondering whether the Slonsky/Bradshaw report has been, er, enhanced by their own ideological leanings, whatever they may be?
Here's an example: let's say former presidential candidate Michael Badnarik had written a report like this, but instead of extolling the "working class" he had talked about "state violence" or "statists" or discussed how he had used Atlas Shrugged as a pillow.
In that case, wouldn't CNN question whether he was seeing things through distored glasses?
Oops, I just realized that I made a mistake above: CNN isn't even semi-reputable.

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...
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."

"FEMA fumbles": Charleston WV or Charleston SC?

CNN reports that a planeload of evacuees were delivered to Charleston, West Virginia.
Just one problem: officials in Charleston, South Carolina were told by FEMA that the plane was headed for them, and they had made all the necessary preparations:

A call seeking comment from FEMA was not immediately returned.
"We called in all the available resources," said Dr. John Simkovich, director of public health for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
"They responded within 30 minutes, which is phenomenal, to meet the needs of the citizens coming in from Louisiana," he said.

Note also the first sentence of the article:

Add geography to the growing list of FEMA fumbles.


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