insists he is well-qualified to lead the nation’s disaster response agency – though he spent his time before joining the Federal Emergency Management Agency probing whether a breeder was performing liposuction on a horse’s rear end,” the New York Daily News reports. (Via AmericaBlog)
Over the past week, Secretary Chertoff and Gen. Richard Myers have used the talking point that the Bush administration’s slow response to Katrina was justified because they had read headlines in the paper shortly after the hurricane had passed that said “New Orleans Dodged a Bullet.”
But ThinkProgress and other blogs called the administration out for citing a headline that didn’t exist. So staffers in the administration desparately scrounged around for real headlines to make their case, and they found three. In an interview with the Sean Hannity radio show yesterday, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld rationalized the Bush administration’s incompetence by arguing that headlines from these newspapers had misled them:
It’s interesting, however; I was told this morning that on Tuesday, August 30th, some of the headlines in the press of the United States said “New Orleans Spared From Storm’s Fury;” “New Orleans Spared Straight Shot;” “New Orleans Escaping Feared Knockout Punch.” So all the press was reporting — and of course, if you remember, New Orleans did escape the terrible wind damage that hit — and the wave damage that hit Mississippi. What New Orleans’ problem was, was that the levees did not withstand the flooding, and the city of New Orleans was flooded.
Had Rumsfeld and others bothered to read the full text of the three articles they found with favorable headlines, they would have realized that federal government help was needed immediately.
What’s the best way to help the roughly 12 million residents who live in the states impacted by Hurricane Katrina, including hundreds of thousands of families who are now displaced and homeless?
Repeal the estate tax, which in 2003 was paid by a whopping 709 people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama combined. That’s the line from the American Family Business Institute, the “nation’s leading advocacy group for death tax repeal.” On Monday, they issued a release saying “it is entirely appropriate for the Senate to focus all its energy on disaster relief” — then called on the Senate to “immediately and retroactively” repeal the estate tax for victims of Hurricane Katrina. How thoughtful.
at the switch? The San Francisco Bay Guardian has a list of the top ten most important stories the corporate media ignored over the past year. Any other under-reported stories you think they missed?
Last spring, the conservative Congress passed harsh new bankruptcy laws which made it harder and more expensive for Americans to recover from financial difficulties, at the same time protecting the powerful credit card industry. Now the effects of the severe legislation are coming home to roost.
The LA Times reports that, thanks to the new law, recovery will be even tougher for Hurricane Katrina survivors. House compassionate conservatives specifically rejected language to exempt victims of natural disasters from the new, harsher laws.
According to experts, many people who lost everything won’t “be able to qualify for leniency because of paperwork rules, among other reasons.” For example, the new law requires debtors “shall be required to itemize each additional expense or adjustment to income and to provide “¦ documentation “¦ and a detailed explanation’ under oath.” That’s tough in this case, when most receipts, records and files are simply gone. “There’s no way many people are going to be able to provide all this paperwork,” said Keith Lundin, a federal bankruptcy judge. “It’s underwater.”
In the blitz of media coverage surrounding Hurricane Katrina, it’s hard to wrap your head around exactly what happened.
But we need your help. If there’s something you think should be added, suggest it in the comments section or send us an email.
not to take pictures of dead bodies in New Orleans.