One Reporter's Opinion

Proud sponsor of The Partnership for an Idiot-Free America. Andy's random observations -- a potluck of politics, a mix of music musings, and whatever else transcends the transom. (Unless otherwise specified, all pictures are copyright of this blogger. Some rights reserved, subject to the terms and conditions specified under the Creative Commons license.)

Thursday, September 01, 2005


You Don't Need A Weatherman...

Let's dispense with the notion that no one knew that this disaster was coming.

Bienville himself was warned that settling the drained swampland between the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchartrain wasn't wise. That doesn't excuse the complete bungling and bobbling and continuing incompetence on the part of the leadership involved.

Let's not confuse knowledge and certainty with preparation.

The feds were unprepared. The feds appeared unaware for days. And now that there is an actual emergency, the reaction is still pitifully, pathetically, and dare I say, pathologically inadequate.

There is no "better late than never" option today. Late is never for the dozens of people dying on the streets.

Remember the warning that went out on Sunday from NWS? Some thought it might be an overreaction.

I put together a little video montage. Watch and draw your own conclusions. Warning: Requires Quicktime. 10MB and graphic in spots.

If you like it, feel free to distribute.

EDIT: The QT video has been taken down because it's taking up all of my available file space. If you want a copy, contact me in comments and we'll work something out.



CNN is Regaining Respectability

Anderson Cooper may be my new hero.

Senator Landrieu repeatedly told him tonight that there would be plenty of time for anger, and there'd be plenty of time to ask questions, and there'd be time for people to take responsibility "later." She then proceeded to take up valuable minutes of airtime thanking seemingly everyone in the Bush administration for doing an admirable job.

With all due respect, which is damned little, Madam Senator, there'll be plenty of time to suck Republican ass later.

Right now, you look like a cheap suit and a fucking sellout to your own hometown.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005


When The Saints Go Marching Out

Godspeed, New Orleans.





Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I'm Ready for My Close-Up, Mr. Rove!

Tuesday -- CORONADO, Calif. - President Bush couldn't be bothered to return immediately to the job of president, opting to take a leisurely path from his vacation home in Texas to yet another photo op in the continuing War of Error, rather than proceeding immediately to The White House.

It has been 72 hours since it became apparent that there would be a major disaster and humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and since then, the President of the United States has placed a higher priority on posing in front of the camera rather than doing substantive work to aid relief efforts.

He has only just returned to Washington.

A grateful nation sighs as President Bush makes the supreme sacrifice of cutting his five-week vacation down to four and a half weeks.

Bush will apparently take time out of his busy schedule to visit on Friday.

Presidenting, now as ever, remains hard work.




(The Yankee Nero, trying out his new fiddle.)



When The Levee Breaks

There has been a lot of press coverage about the breaks in the levee system throughout Orleans & Jefferson Parishes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They've been talking about rising floodwaters and how much damage potential this has in the days and weeks to come. They've even been so kind as to provide some photographic evidence.

Now. Notice anything wrong with this picture?




Last time I checked, a lift bridge would span a body of water. So I looked around, and, sure enough, this appears to be a view of the Claiborne Ave. bridge on the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal, facing north.

And water is spilling into it from the east, not out from it, which would be expected if the water from the canal was flooding into regions adjacent.

Which means that the residential neighborhood to the east of the IHNC was already under at least 15 feet of water before the levee was compromised. Keep that in mind when people are blaming the levee breaks for all the flooding in the days to come. (UPDATE: Emphasis on *breaks*; the NOLA killer will come from 17th St, apparently, so long as the western levee on the IHNC remains intact.)

Given what Mayor Nagin said about how St. Bernard Parish was in a bad way, and how both airports were under water, and how large segments of the twin-span I-10 causeway were gone, and how Slidell was now indistinguishable from Lake Pontchartrain (click for larger image)...



It's not unreasonable to conclude (click for larger image)...



...that the storm surge took out huge portions of the east long before the levees were compromised.

UPDATE: If this report on WWLTV is accurate, this is not good.

****ALL RESIDENTS ON THE EAST BANK OF ORLEANS AND JEFFERSON REMAINING IN THE METRO AREA ARE BEING TOLD TO EVACUATE AS EFFORTS TO SANDBAG THE LEVEE BREAK HAVE ENDED. THE PUMPS IN THAT AREA ARE EXPECTED TO FAIL SOON AND 9 FEET OF WATER IS EXPECTED IN THE ENTIRE EAST BANK. WITHIN THE NEXT 12-15 HOURS****

They are referring not to the levee break on the Industrial Canal, but rather, the break in the 17th St. Canal at Old Hammond Highway.

And guess what -- the funding that had been earmarked for reinforcing that levee and finishing the Old Hammond Highway bridge project? It went into a rathole because the Bush administration had other priorities; i.e. fighting the war in Iraq.

Now we're looking at a natural disaster which will cost untold billions, when a couple million might have sufficed.

Pound foolish, for sure.

UPDATE II: Apparently, according to Ed Reams from WDSU-6 (live on CNN now), the helicopter that was supposed to be sent to drop those 3000 pound sandbags in the breach at the 17th St Canal was "diverted for search and rescue."

Which would be all well and good -- if THE WHOLE GODDAMNED EAST BANK WASN'T GOING TO FLOOD IF THEY DIDN'T GET THAT HOLE UNDER CONTROL.

Sitrep as of 9:30 CT -- the pumphouse at 17th St has been submerged, the pumps have stopped functioning, and there hasn't been a single sandbag airlifted even to attempt to block the flow of Lake Pontchartrain into Lakeview.

FYI, the East Bank is all of the stuff that you probably know as greater New Orleans. Via answers.com:

East Bank

The "East Bank" is home to the majority of the City of New Orleans and the most densely populated portion of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, as well as many of the region's major suburbs. The many of these suburbs includes Metairie, Kenner, Jefferson, and Harahan on that side of the river.

Further down the river the much smaller suburbs of Arabi, Chalmette, Meraux, Pointe a la Hache, and Violet. All of St. Bernard Parish and the eastern portion of Plaquemines Parish is located on this bank. Most of these suburbs and parishes make up the southeastern portions of the Greater New Orleans area.

Visually:



Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?