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"Bush Leaves Louisiana After Spirit-Lifting Trip"

Fox has the Bush-friendly side of things.

Dressed for the occasion in hard hat, work gloves and a large wraparound tool belt, the president joined other volunteers hammering nails into a sheet of plywood. The first lady, a cloth nail pouch around her waist, accompanied him. Bush spent most of his time chatting, signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Is the Los Angeles Times a Mexican newspaper?

If the Los Angeles Times were based out of Mexico City, would the report "Immigrants Rush to New Orleans as Contractors Fight for Workers" be any different? Of course! It might be in Spanish. Other than that:

...Word has gotten out and each morning day laborers - who come from Central America and Mexico by way of California, Texas and Arizona - gather on street corners in the Kenner and Metairie neighborhoods on the western edge of the city.
With 140,000 homes destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is undergoing the nation's largest reconstruction effort and its new workforce is largely Latino. No one knows how many immigrants have descended here since Katrina ravaged the city five weeks ago, but their presence is visible throughout the city.
[reports on a couple who wired "half of their paycheck to their family back home"; "If we can make enough money, we would like to buy a house and bring our children to New Orleans."]

In other words, illegal aliens are not just rebuilding an American city. Many of them are probably being indirectly paid out of federal or state money. Then, a large portion of that money is being sent out of the country. If you're an American, that's an outrage. If you're the Los Angeles Times, that's just a news story.

[...contractor Perry Custer is importing workers from Houston and Atlanta; a "temporary employment service of sorts for laborers" has been created...]
...Contractors say one advantage in using [the temporary employment service] is that they don't have to deal with paperwork or check to see whether the workers are in the U.S. legally.
"There is a 'don't ask, don't tell,' mentality right now," Custer said. He added that there didn't seem to be any effort to crack down on illegal immigrants. "If they do who will rebuild New Orleans?"

Isn't the American thing to encourage and enable New Orleans residents to rebuild their own city? Or, at the least, other Americans rather than illegal aliens? What's the way being promoted by the Los Angeles Times?
Only in the twenty-fourth paragraph do we get some hint that this might not be such a good thing after all:

The influx of Latino workers is raising concern among city officials. Last week, Associated Press reported, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin asked local businesspeople, "How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?"

Out of 34 paragraphs, that is the only contrary information in the whole article.

"They may be the new service class in New Orleans," said Lawrence Powell, a historian at Tulane University. "It only takes a few people to put down roots and begin the chain of migration. I'm wondering if we're seeing the first signs of a population swap."

Yes, indeed. And, un-American sources will be there, helping it happen. If you still subscribe to the Los Angeles Times, just stop.

AP: Bush visits, eats high on hog, sleeps well

Do you think there could be the slightest bit of bias in the AP report "Bush dines, stays in French Quarter"?

President Bush got a taste of some of New Orleans' finest Monday, dining in the French Quarter and staying at a luxury hotel to showcase progress in the hurricane-battered city even as much of it remains in ruins.

He met with Nagin, and:

Upon arrival, Bush also met with political leaders and law enforcement officials from Plaquemines Parish, a major seafood producer and home for oil refinineries southeast of New Orleans that took a double hit from Katrina and then Hurricane Rita a month later.

I know what it means to have your hand out, but I'm not sure what this means:

"The American people have their arms out," Bush told the officials, according to White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy.
The two-day trip -- Bush's eighth to the storm zone and fifth to New Orleans since Katrina struck on August 29 -- marked the president's public return to the hurricane recovery.
It was nearly two weeks ago, during a September 27 visit to towns in Louisiana and Texas slammed by Rita, that he last held an event devoted to the storms.


The president's trip continues Tuesday, when Bush is pitching in at a site in Covington, Louisiana, just north of New Orleans, where the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity is building new homes for storm victims.
That stop allows the president to focus on an issue he said last week was a less-than-stellar piece of the federal government's continuing response to Katrina -- temporary housing for the hundreds of thousands of homeless.
Bush has said everyone being housed in shelters should be in apartments, trailers or, in some cases, hotels by mid-October as they look for permanent housing.

Before the visit, "New Orleans mayor seeks Bush's help" had a bit more:

"I'm going to talk to him about what it's going to take to keep this city going over the next three months and ask him to support us in the short term," Nagin told reporters after meeting with his 17-member "Bring Back New Orleans" commission at the city's Sheraton Hotel...
Bush will be joined at dinner by members of Nagin's commission. During a nearly four-hour meeting on Monday, the commission discussed efforts to help residents return to New Orleans and received updates on everything from garbage removal to electricity and the water supply.

Who's right about the reports of violence?

"The Great New Orleans Media Cover-Up" starts with:

Were journalists lying in their reports during the post-Katrina savagery, or are they lying now, in denying it ever happened? Can you put toothpaste back in the tube?

Unfortunately, the rest of the post is badly-formatted, and I think there's a very long comment taking up half the page. So, I'll leave it to you to read it and figure out whether it says something of interest or not.
However, I will note that - for some wacky reason - the MSM keeps trying to downplay the violence that occured in the aftermath, and that makes me quite suspicious. As well as various other loose ends and coincidences.
And, there's also the matter of contrary indicators. Generally speaking, if Reason Magazine supports an idea, I know there has to be something wrong with it in some way or other. In fact, the post above was brought to my attention by this Reason post (nofollow in effect). See, they apparently think the first post is loony enough that it proves their attempts to debunk the reports of violence. And, that post is from the same author of the interview with Major Ed Bush. I am getting more and more suspicious by the minute.

NBC: "In New Orleans, the working class disappears"

Carl Quintanilla offers this short article on New Orleans' working class not coming back:

Despite the mayor's attempts to bring them home, New Orleans has become a closely-watched experiment in what happens when an entire income bracket disappears.
"If they can't bring back these people, you're going to see the city's infrastructure fall apart," says Dr. Robert Blendon of the Harvard University School of Public Health.
Some residents can't return because their neighborhoods, often poor, are still deserted and have no water or power.

Some - we aren't given even a guess as to how many - have found better opportunities elsewhere. Then, the NBC reporter makes another leap:

There are some workers who've moved in to satisfy demand. They're mostly Hispanic, raising a controversy on its own. Some of them line up to do the most menial of jobs, like clean up, and signs offer them $10 dollars an hour.

Is "Hispanic" the best description for these workers? How about "illegal aliens from Mexico"? Wouldn't that be a more truth-based description? Of course, if Quintanilla wants to make "Hispanic" equivalent to "illegal aliens from Mexico" he should say that. Alternatively, he should tell the truth.

FEMA to re-bid $400 million in contracts; NYT bias

Speaking before a Senate panel, David Paulison, acting head of FEMA, says they're going to get new bids on $400 million worth of contracts:

"It sure looks, with hindsight, that FEMA would have been in a much better position if it had had a lot of contracts in place that had been bid that were standby contracts to provide exactly the kind of services that FEMA rushed in to provide on a no-bid basis," Mr. Lieberman said. He said "taxpayers may have ended up paying more money" than they should have.

Partial good news, although:

Critics said they welcomed the decision to reconsider the deals, but questioned why the effort did not include some no-bid contracts awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Now, let's take a look at New York Times bias:

The four contracts up for rebidding were awarded early last month to The Shaw Group of Baton Rouge, La., Fluor Corporation of Aliso Viejo, Calif., Bechtel National of San Francisco and CH2M Hill of Denver. They have already won commitments from FEMA for a total of $125 million in work, identifying sites for trailers and mobile homes for Hurricane Katrina evacuees and then installing the housing across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Government watchdog groups have been raising questions from the moment these contracts were awarded. The Shaw Group's lobbyist is Joe M. Allbaugh, the former FEMA director and a friend of President Bush. Bechtel has ties to the Republican Party; George Shultz, the former secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan, is on the corporation's board, and Riley P. Bechtel, the chairman and chief executive, served on President Bush's Export Council.

What they consistently forget to tell their readers is that the head of the Shaw Group used to head the Louisiana Democratic Party.

Editorialist reports on media covering up for self

Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times offers "Media outlets exaggerated some of New Orleans' woes". In brief, the possibility of the media getting it wrong is OK, because the media can police itself:

...despite a slew of recent stories outlining the fact that the death rates, rapes and murders there have totalled far fewer than initially reported - the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, New York Times , Los Angeles Times and NBC News have all reported on this issue in recent days - experts say they don't expect media credibility to take a huge hit.
Mostly because the corrections have come from many of the same news outlets that did the initial reporting...

Etc., etc., quotes from experts, etc. etc.

"Brown told FEMA computers were inadequate"; AP bias

This report from the AP's Lara Jakes Jordan (click her name for more on that AP reporter) has some news, but let's see if we can spot some opinion:

WASHINGTON - Former FEMA director Michael Brown was warned weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit that his agency's backlogged computer systems could delay supplies and put personnel at risk during an emergency, according to an audit released Wednesday.
An internal review of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's information-sharing system shows it was overwhelmed during the 2004 hurricane season. The audit was released a day after Brown vehemently defended FEMA for the government's dismal response to Katrina, instead blaming state and local officials for poor planning and chaos during the Aug. 29 storm and subsequent flooding.

Blort! My opinion meter pegged with that last bit.

In an Aug. 3 response, Brown and one of his deputies rejected the audit, calling it unacceptable, erroneous and negative.
"The overall tone of the report is negative," wrote FEMA chief information officer Barry C. West in an Aug. 3 letter that Brown initialed.
"We believe this characterization is inaccurate and does not acknowledge the highly performing, well managed and staffed (informational technology) systems supporting FEMA incident response and recovery."

As a computer pro, I need a bit more information to judge what's going on. However, the report mentions "backlogged" systems. That would appear to be a human or human-resources problem, and not one specific to the actual computer systems.

More on the dispute death count at the Convention Center

A DUmmie has an interesting compendium of news reports here. Where all those reports wrong? Or, are we being sold a line with the current spate of articles downplaying violence?
Those who want the truth are facing two powerful forces: "liberals" who want to downplay the fact that there was rampant violence because most of the perps were black, and government officials who want to downplay it for reasons of both avoiding blame and attracting future tourists and business.
All those who advocated against allowing photographers and reporters into the disaster zone should be hung out to dry for their help in what might turn out to be a bi-partisan coverup.

Blogosphere questions crime reports

Here's an example. (Nofollow tag used because that site uses that tag on comments.)


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