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Posted by on Sep 4, 2005 in At TMV | 0 comments

Blog Reaction To Hurricane Katrina

It has been a week since the monster storm and story called Hurricane Katrina has been pitchforked into the headlines in the news media — and on weblogs.

Here’s an extensive cross-section of blog reactions to the hurricane. Links are NOT restricted to big weblogs, famous weblogs, one ideology, one location or even one aspect of the storm. What follows are excerpts. We encourage readers to click on the links and read the entire posts and also explore the various blogs:
Glenn Reynolds, aka InstaPundit:”My own take: Some of the nitpicking and complaining may well be justified, even beyond the inevitable dropped balls in something like this. But there will be plenty of time for that later. Right now, people should be focusing on constructive action, not point-scoring.”
Ian McGibboney (New Orleans):

I think it goes without saying that Kathleen Blanco is my hero of the moment. My support for her had been flagging lately, but she’s come out with an admirably righteous furor against the Bush administration and everyone else who doesn’t think Louisiana is worth preserving. I am impressed beyond belief! See, Democrats, it’s okay not to play along with the fascist whores who want not only to run the country into the ground, but who want to decide for us which major American cities and environmental areas are worth anything. Screw them! In fact, governor, you should have demanded much more than a mere apology. How about some groveling? Hastert has a LOT to answer for anyhow.

I’m not always the biggest fan of the state of Louisiana or its politics. But for politicians to say that my home state is not worth rebuilding, well, they can kiss my ass!! Screw you so-called Compassionate Conservatives! People like Dennis Hastert and George W. Bush are looking worse and worse with each passing moment, which is really saying something. The distancing I can understand. The tightwad mentality I can understand. But at this point, they aren’t even offering the usual lip service; Hastert just out-and-out said that New Orleans isn’t worth rebuilding. How sick is that? I guess I’ll never vote for them again!!

CaliBlogger:”As with the planes of 9/11, New Orleans’ burst levees had been anticipated, just not by the administration….Then again, W famously doesn’t read newspapers, so I guess his ignorance is well-earned. As is his place in hell.”
LaShawn Barber, who blasts GWB for using Bill Clinton to raise money, writes:

I’m seething with rage, and if I could have five minutes alone with George Bush, I’d start by telling him what I think of his boy Clinton, a man who disgraced the office of the presidency and embarrassed this country, and what I think of him for thrusting him upon the American people. Then I’d tell him how inept I think the “war on terrorism� is and ask him why he’s so afraid of the media (a real man wouldn’t be). I’d urge him to STOP sending money overseas and to kick out all illegal aliens and seal the borders behind them.

If he’s still listening after that, I’d tell him how effete it is to cave in to suicidal political correctness while we’re trying defend ourselves from death and destruction with body parts flying everywhere. I’d suggest that he get rid of his speechwriters and just TALK to the people.

Tom Tomorrow:

Honest to god: just heard some substitute host on Rush Limbaugh’s show saying (a) “we” conservatives all know that the government can’t do anything right anyway, so we certainly shouldn’t rely on them now, and (b) the media aren’t reporting the “good” news from New Orleans–i.e., the faith based charities that are moving into the gulf coast to hand out supplies.

Well gee whillikers, mister guest host, I guess when the darned liberal EmEssEm reporters are down there in New Orleans watching babies die before their eyes and rats gnaw on corpses left out in the street, somehow the tens of thousands of people facing imminent dehydration, starvation, dysentary and death seem like a slightly more important story. That’s how biased they are.

Bull Moose:

The magnitude of this disaster is only matched by the incompetence of this Administration. Now we know the meaning of conservative Commissar Norquist’s “leave us alone” coalition. Or is this just the highest stage of “compassionate conservatism” as Americans starve or die of thirst on the streets? Maybe, we are just judging the Bushies by the standard of the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

And don’t forget – this is the Administration that demands accountability and standards from our educators and students. Parents – don’t accept any excuses from your kids for substandard school work but don’t leave any incompetent FEMA Director or Secretary of Homeland Security behind!

Conservative governance has produced fiscal irresponsibility, government expansion, unprecedented incompetence and lawlessness. Have they no shame?

Blogs For Bush:

There’s been a lot of Bush-blaming going on in the last week by the usual suspects about the fact that funding for the US Army Corps of Engineers had been decreased by a substantial amount last year in favor of pumping more money into the Iraq war effort. The conclusion drawn from that from that same crowd is that if Bush hadn’t have called for the decrease in funding for the US ACE, the levees that burst earlier this week after Hurricane Katrina’s rampage would have been upgraded quickly so as to avoid the exact scenario that sadly happened in New Orleans on Monday. Wrong.

Mezba’s Blog (Bangladeshi in Canada):

The Americans put a man on the moon in 3 days, but the aid took 5 days to arrive. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) officials earn their fat salary throughout the whole year for the one day they will be needed – the day after such a national emergency. They were ill-prepared, caught with their pants down. Congress stayed up all night to pass the 87 billion dollars needed for Iraq’s army, but did not pass an aid bill for New Orleans since the last 5 days. While Texas opened up their doors to refugees, the President did not see it worthwhile to immediately cut off his vacation. When National Guard officials were needed to stop looting and anarchy in their home state, they were off doing the same in a foreign country thousands of miles away. Somewhere, planning was improper. Scientists have warned for decades about the worst case scenario in New Orleans, so no one can see they were not warned.

And who is suffering? Society is judged by how they treat their poorest, their weakest, and their most vulnerable citizens. The people left behind in New Orleans are certainly those. I hope, for their sake, the American government gets its act together. Americans deserve – and expect – no less from their leaders.

The National Debate:

The fundamental problem with the media criticism of the response to the crisis is that the media’s baseline is unrealistic. The premise for the vast majority of media criticism, espeically from CNN, is that there should have been NO delays, there should have been NO difficulties, in fact Soledad O’Brien has been operating from the premise that what happened should not have happened at all because “everyone knew” this was going to happen. If you are starting from that premise of course the response is bad….

Meanwhile, the backpatting has already begun. In an interview last night with yet another former mayor of New Orleans, Aaron Brown ended an interview last night by going back to a comment made earlier in the interview where the ex-mayor credited CNN with being the ones to cause the federal government to respond to Katrina and thanking the former mayor for giving CNN credit.

Bill O’Reilly ended an interview of Shep Smith by expressing his hope that Smith wins every journalism award possible. How long until the media makes “the media coverage” the story? If past is prologue you won’t have to wait long. Do I really need to answer the question of whether much of the media coverage is driven by a political agenda?

–John Amato via Huffington Post:

Watching Shepard Smith and Geraldo Rivera proclaim their outrage at what is happening to the poor souls trapped in New Orleans on Hannity and Colmes Friday night, I couldn’t help but think of an old movie, John Carpenter’s Escape from New York. It’s a film about the city of Manhattan being turned into a Prison Island that’s protected by the military and anyone who tries to breach its borders is shot on sight. That is the plight of the people trapped in the Super Dome…..

Bill O’Reilly proclaimed, “A lot of the people — a lot of the people who stayed wanted to do this destruction. They figured it out. And that’s — I’m not surprised.”….Seeing human beings suffering in unconscionable circumstances does have that effect on some people, Bill. I thought you knew the common man. Brent Bozell should be worried about ideas like yours and John Gibson’s that infect the morality of our society instead of tawdry food fights on Gilligan’s Island and Janet Jackson’s nipple flash. Unlike Escape from New York, there is no Snake Plissken to save the day. There’s only Shepard Smith with a microphone yelling, “I don’t understand.”

The Mighty Middle’s Michael Reynolds:

More often than not I find myself joining the people who call for us to put aside recrimination and political blame-mongering in a crisis. Not this time. We delayed the fault-finding on 9/11, we delayed the fault-finding on Iraq, and in both cases we were stonewalled by the Bush White House, lied to, condescended to, treated, as the old joke goes, like mushrooms: kept in the dark and fed manure.

George W. Bush appointed as head of FEMA a man who had spent the previous 11 years pimping for wealthy horse breeders. That’s not just a mistake. That’s not just bad judgment. That is malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance all rolled into one big, arrogant “screw you.” This is contempt for the most fundamental role of government: safeguarding the lives of American citizens. FEMA head Mike Brown is a man completely over his head in this crisis. Not his fault. If you hire the head of the Kennel Club as Secretary of Defense you cannot then be surprised if the Army goes to the dogs. Hiring this unqualified man to head this vital front-line agency, FEMA, is not a crime, but it is criminally stupid, negligent and contemptuous. It does not rise to the level of impeachable offense under our Constitution. But it should….

The United States of America is a laughingstock. An incompetently managed war, and now an incompetently managed storm have left us an object of scorn and ridicule to enemies and friends alike. The notion that we can now convince a doubting world that we know best, that our way is the model of success, that we have the right to unilaterally impose our values on anyone, anywhere, just drowned in the filthy water of New Orleans. We cannot rescue American citizens in the Superdome, and we’re going to turn the Middle East into Texas? ….The Constitution did not create the modern version of the office of the Presidency. That evolved. The Framers were of the opinion that the Congress would be the dominant branch of government. It is time to return to that model. Now. Right now.

The Blogs of War’s John Little’s initial reaction:”I don’t know what my opinion is worth in this matter, and I certainly don’t mean to imply that the responders on the ground are anything but heroic, but the federal response seems inadequate, sluggish, ineffective, completely at odds with what I would have expected in a post-9/11 America. We’ve lost an entire city, many cities actually, and the response just doesn’t seem to be rising to the level required.”
In The Bull Pen:

Thus far, I think it is safe to say the relief has been to slow in comparison to our own expectations, but like I said above, even if planes dropped huge amounts of food and water into the areas effected while the hurricane was passing through it would have been considered slow. There is a great deal of confusion on the ground, but that confusion might be more with the people rather than the authorities. We as a nation need to figure out a better way to inform people on the ground of what to do not just when a natural disaster occurs, but before.

The time though is for all Americans to pull together and try to help people that have nothing. It is not a time for partisan bickering like so many blogs and media reps have been doing. Do these people actually think the family waiting for a ride out on a New Orleans overpass give two sh&@s about why it occured?

Andrew Sullivan:

The death toll because of the administration’s incompetence is a human tragedy. At a deeper level, as a believer that we have to win in Iraq, I worry that the public’s trust in anything this administration says about reality may soon disappear altogether. The will we need to persevere in Iraq depends to some extent on trust in the administration. The trust, already battered, may now collapse. This calamity happened in a region where support for the president was relatively strong. It benefits none of us – least of all the beleaguered Iraqis – that this has happened and is still happening. But we know now at least how the citizens of Iraq must feel – besieged, bereft of sufficient security, and reassured by smug Bush administration pabulum. They’re on their own, just as surely as the remaining citizens of New Orleans were left to fend for themselves. But, hey, stuff happens, doesn’t it?

Right Thinking agrees:

He’s absolutely right, and I think this is the death knell for Bush and the current GOP. And a big part of me wants to see them go. This is just totally f—–g unacceptable. And while we can sit here in the blog world and go over the specifics of who was supposed to do what, and what the proper procedure for doing stuff is, the fact of the matter is that Bush is the president, and what happens on his watch is his responsibility. This could have been a golden opportunity for Bush to reassert his leadership in a time of crisis, much like he did right after 9/11, when the whole country was behind him. He failed miserably. Look at the veneration that America sill holds for Rudy Giuliani. Why do you think that is, because he got the hookers out of Times Square? No, it’s because of his leadership abilities in a time of national emergency…..

Seriously, all partisan tendencies aside, do any of you actually have any faith in this cockmonkey and his administration to be able to get the job done in Iraq, when this utter failure in New Orleans is the best that they can come up with in a situation where there was a storm coming which we knew about a week beforehand? Ask yourself something honestly: can you imagine anyone doing any worse? And if this happened on Clinton’s watch, would we all be hemming and hawing about the mayor and the governor?

Gary Farber:”Meanwhile, Chertoff and Bush swear everything is going swimingly, you’ll pardon the expression, but are going to go even better, they swear!”
Needlenose:”As New Orleans sinks into outright anarchy, just as Iraq did two years ago, it’s increasingly clear why. The Bushites took the same approach to staffing the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA as they did to the Pentagon and the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq — and they’re getting exactly the same results.”
Michelle Malkin:

Naturally, Bush’s critics want to make this into a major issue in the run-up to the 2006 mid-term elections next fall. But the reality is more complex than the Bush Blamers will admit. They want you to believe that inadequate flood-control protections became a problem only after Bush took office. However, the New Orleans Times-Picayune has written numerous articles over the years describing the threat posed by inadequate funding for flood-control measures. Many of these articles, such as the one authored by Pam Louwagie on June 1, 1999 (see extended entry), appeared well before President Bush took office.

The Times-Picayune’s articles make clear that throughout much of the 1990s, officials in Louisiana couldn’t come up with state money needed to match federal funds. The resignation of Rep. Bob Livingston in December 1998 didn’t help. (Livingston was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee; federal funding for flood control projects was one of his pet projects.) Nor did environmental laws, such as the Migratory Bird Act of 1918. (Construction on a hurricane protection levee in St. Charles Parish was halted for months because a great egret nesting area sat in the levee’s path.)…It wasn’t only in Louisiana that the Clinton Administration opposed flood control measures. During the 2000 presidential campaign, Clinton vetoed legislation designed to prevent flooding on the Missouri River. … The veto, a significant campaign issue, was a factor in Bush’s narrow win over Al Gore in Missouri.

Captain Ed:

Given New Orleans’ fairly unique situation, the result of a direct Cat-4 or -5 hit has always been presumed to carry the inevitable result of levee failure. If we want to play the blame-Bush game, we can also play the blame-Nixon, blame-Ford, blame-Carter, blame-Reagan, blame-Bush 41, and blame-Clinton game, especially after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. However, since Congress allocates the money and the President has no line-item veto or modification power, the responsibility for funding these programs falls to our representatives…..

Now isn’t the time for standing around and pointing fingers. We have much more important work to do in getting people to safety, getting them food, water, and shelter, and recovering what we can for New Orleans. Let’s try reaching out instead of making this yet another point of polarization for the uberpartisans to stall with their venomous rhetoric….

Grouchy’s Liberaltopia:

People have died because of Bush’s dereliction of duty, his complete indifference to human suffering. But what does he do when disaster strikes? He calls in political hacks under investigation for endangering national security and image doctors to repair the POLITICAL damage. Because that’s clearly all that Bush cares about. If it isn’t, why did Bush stay on vacation for days while people were dying? Why did vice president Cheney stay on vacation for some SIX DAYS after the hurricane battered this country? Why did Sec. of State Condi Rice LEAVE for vacation while New Orleans was spiraling into despair and go to a fancy Broadway show (tickets cost $100 for the connected and powerful people who can score them), play tennis with Monica Seles and buy obscenely expensive shoes on Fifth Avenue? Why did Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld go on a political jaunt with Bush to California on Tuesday instead of getting ready to send in the troops? Kanye West was partly right: Bush doesn’t care about anybody but himself.

In Search Of Utopia:

I have distant relatives that live in New Orleans, as well as countless personal friends and Fraternity Brothers. At this point I don’t know where any of them are. I am angry and it appears that a LOT of Americans are angry. I am also dissapointed, that the President elected for Strong Leadership has so far shown VERY LITTLE strength or Leadership. Perhaps those of you who voted for him can stomach that, even EXCUSE it, I can’t and won’t. So dont DARE lecture me or others for “politicizing the disaster,” when YOUR SIDE has politicized everything from 9/11 forward. This situation stinks with the smell of water bloated dead bodies. You are right about one thing, this event is being politicized, but not by the people calling for accountability. It is being politicized by the same people who time after time have excused the failures of this administration. There are two disasters taking place today, one is obvious, the other has been going on for five years!

–A Brooklyn Bridge points to THIS Bush photo.
Rosemary Esmay writing on Dean’s World:

Bush is being blamed for not being in New Orleans sharing the pain of the people and perusing the damage. Maybe he isn’t there because they are still trying evacuate the area and they don’t have the time or the manpower to host a Presidential visit. Maybe he’s not there because people are going nuts looting and shooting. I don’t know but I do know that it’s a bit early to be expecting Bush to head on over to the disaster.

Personally, I’d love to see Bush down there in a gondola looking at the damage. Then we could hear how insensitive he was for floating by in a gondola. The poor don’t have gondolas and that would make them feel even worse. Bastard!

Ron Beasley:”I have always suspected that the incompetence of George W. Bush and his cohorts would bring them down before their evil political philosophy. We saw that seeds of that before Katrina as even those on the right began to understand that Rumsfeld’s Pentagon had done just about everything they could have done that was wrong. Bush’s support and support for the war was in free fall. Then comes Katrina, not a sneak terrorist attack but a natural disaster that gave several days warning. Bush himself had a “my pet goat” moment and all but ignored the situation for two days. The totally inadequate response of the Federal Government in the disaster effort has even the right upset and asking questions.”
–Writing on Running Scared, Beasley also makes these interesting predictions:

Bush’s poll numbers will go down another 4 percentage points next week.
Katrina will accelerate what Cindy Sheehan started, a pull out from Iraq.
The above will be the result of demands from congress that the national guard units and their equipment be brought home from Iraq at once.
The Republican law makers will increase distancing themselves from Bush.
There will be a congressional investigation on what went wrong led by the Republicans and Bush will not be spared.

Kevin Alyward:”Note that the commander-in-chief of the Louisiana National Guard is Governor Kathleen Blanco (D). How she’s deflected all blame for the delays in deployment is beyond me (certainly having the “D” behind her name doesn’t hurt), especially when (as of Wednesday) only half of the available Louisiana National Guard was deployed for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts…”
Jeff Jarvis:

The leaders we have give us pap (from Bush, who didn’t have the guts to set foot in New Orleans itself, and Blanco), excuses (from Chertoff and Brown), or anger (from Nagin). But none of them gave us action commensurate with this terrrible tragedy. They didn’t give us decisive and effective management. No one is in charge.

Where is Rudy when we need him? (And I’ve said long since that he should have been appointed head of Homeland Security.)…I don’t want elected officials who think they are moral leaders — because they are not and because that’s not their job. I don’t want leaders who are driven by ideology — when they should be paying attention to their job. The job of government is to keep us secure. The job of officials in charge of government is to manage that. Period.

A VC (post pointed to by Jarvis):

I hope and believe that we are on the cusp of a new political order. We’ve had the liberal excesses of the democrat’s run from the depression through Vietnam. We’ve had the conservative excesses of the republican’s run from Vietman through Iraq.

It’s time we get back to electing people to govern who know something about leading, operating, and managing. We need pragmatic moderates who make the hard decisions without caring about the political impact. We need civil servants in the mold of George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower. We need people who care about the details of governing rather than the details of getting elected.

We have been blessed in NYC with two such people over the past 12 years, Rudy Guliani and Mike Bloomberg. I am not suggesting we should elect either of them president, but I am suggesting that americans are going to focus on the resume more and the rhetoric less.

Uncorrelated’s Greg Prince makes several points including:

1. In the eyes of the right wingnuts, the Bush administration can do no wrong. People rabidly defending and deflecting criticism of the federal disaster effort are functionally little different than Clinton’s “to the death” defenders over fellatio-gate. With the minor exception that Clinton’s felony was lying under oath about a blow job. This administration’s incompetence is contributing to people dying in the streets. It’s appalling. And the political gamesmanship on both the left and right is just shameful.

2. Ain’t it rich? The Homeland Security people want us to know that September is national preparedness month.

What the hell has been accomplished with the billions of dollars spent on homeland security? Nearly four years to the day after 9/11, it’s an open secret that we’re no better off now than we were then, and possibly in some ways even worse. Surely it occurred to someone that muslim extremists could bomb a levee? Well, we KNEW the storm was coming, and THIS is the result of preparation? A nation that can have billions in resources available in South East Asia following the Tsuname can’t even get busses to evacuate the “least among us” who for all practical purposes were left behind to die?

Mark In Mexico:

I am already weary of the Katrina disaster, the news about the disaster, the opinions about the disaster and blogging about the disaster. The response after the first few hours was mostly commendable with a lot of valuable information being disseminated. But now it has all turned into a cacophony of baying hounds. The slobbering attacks and the knee-jerk defenses and the finger pointing to the left, right, up, down, north, south, east and west all makes me sick to my stomach. And this is going to go on and on and on with no real letup in sight for weeks or months. That’s stupid.

If everybody would just shut the hell up until the people affected have been more or less taken care of and the cleanup and recovery is more or less underway then we can sit back and let the experts tell us what the options are for rebuilding or jacking up or moving the city of New Orleans to Montana, or wherever. This was clearly not a natural disaster but a man-made disaster all the way. From the founding of the city in one of the worst geographical locations possible to the destruction of the delta, from the failure to ever face up to the unending and outrageously expensive task of trying to protect a city which cannot ever be fully protected to the evacuation order given too late by state and local officials, from those same state and local officials not providing for the 200,000 or so people who did not have the means to leave to FEMA being rocked back on its heels by the enormity of the catastrophe – it was a man made disaster from the git-go. That’s stupid.


Bush likes to sell himself as a leader so let’s start demanding to know what happened to all of the spending since 9/11. What happened to all of the Homeland Security planning? What happened to the failure to act on this emergency? How can we mobilize troops for Iraq yet we find it so difficult to mobilize troops to rescue and protect our own people? Why has Bush not sacked the FEMA response team and find someone who can show real leadership?

How about a little transparency and accountability with this administration? Are they not spending our tax dollars? It’s our money so let’s know where it’s been spent and how.

The Glittering Eye has a post called Affixing The Blame. We won’t quote from it because we’d ruin its flow and context. A MUST READ!!
Jew School’s Sarah:

Once again, disaster is hitting home for this Jew. The trauma in New Orleans is very personal, as my family lives there – or I suppose I should say, lived there.

My folks are safe and sound in a crappy hotel room in Jackson, Mississippi, but as anyone who has checked the news in the last 24 hours has seen, everything else is lost. As I go to sleep tonight here in California, floodwaters are rising at about 5 inches every half hour – the levees have been breached and the Army Corps of Engineers has of yet failed to fix anything.

Happily, our Esteemed President has cut short his vacation to take some meetings on the matter tomorrow. Great. By then, our house will be underwater.

Gay Patriot:”How can the Democrat machine use buses to get people in New Orleans to the polls on Election Day, but they can’t use the same buses to move them out of the city when the corrupt Mayor orders a “mandatory evacuation.â€?
Bradblog’s Joseph Cannon:

But let us make one thing clear: We WILL politicize this issue.

The Republicans did not shirk from making political use of 9/11, and we should not shirk from reminding the country that Bush turned what should have been a mere problem into Ragnarok.

Conservatives may accuse us of lacking taste if we use this sad occasion to point out sadder facts of political life. Cable news pundits will try to pretend that now is not the time for partisan politics.

If they say that, screw ’em.If the Bush-voters want Californians and New Yorkers and other blue staters to fork over dough, then they damn well had better take our words as well. Republican policies caused this catastrophe. Force them to hear that message — again and again. That message is the price of the charity they now demand.

The Locust Fork:

Well, the American people, at least the one’s not totally in partisan denial, should now see why electing these anti-government Republicans to run the government can only lead to disaster.

The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans endorsed Mr. Bush for president in 2000. But the editorial board broke from the other Newhouse papers in the country in 2004 and endorsed Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic Party nominee, in a somewhat unenthusiastic editorial. It came down to “anyone but Bush.”

As the editorial board said a couple of days ago in an editorial reprinted below:

“The president’s admission of his administration’s mistakes will mean nothing unless the promised help is deployed immediately. Each life is precious, and there isn’t a second chance to save a single one of them. No more talk of what’s going to happen. We only want to hear what is being done. The lives of our people depend on it.”

Let’s just hope when the next election rolls around, other newspapers and TV news stations will remember – and remind the people. We must hold our elected officials accountable if we are to remain a viable democracy. Otherwise, we may as well have remained a part of the British Empire and never fought The Revolution.

Vodkapundit’s Will Collier:

The first time I saw New Orleans, I was about eight years old, when my extended family went down there for the King Tut exhibit. I’ve probably been back a hundred times since: Sugar Bowls, Jazz Fests, Mardi Gras, and the old faithful, “What the hell–let’s go to New Orleans this weekend.” There was nowhere else quite like it, and very few places even remotely like it. I have a lot of friends from there, not all of whom are accounted for right now. It’s a city I know as well as anywhere I’ve never actually moved to, and a place I love more than most of the towns where I have set up housekeeping.

This week has been like watching an old friend die. Every horrible news story is another icicle in the chest. So much has been lost. So many have been taken. So little may be left. The long-term question we ask each other, over and over, is, “Can it ever be what it was again?”

The answer is, probably not. Some of the physical damage can be repaired or rebuilt. Much can’t be, or won’t be. The dead are gone, and the survivors will never be the same. Just who and how many people will return is a very open question. There’s no economy to return to; the city’s only remaining industry was tourism, and it won’t be fit to host a single tourist for many months. That doesn’t even begin to cover all the lost housing. Even if there were resources and the will available to rebuild every home (there won’t be, not by a long shot), rebuilding them will take years.

Dean Esmay (after reading this roundup):

I’m going to go back to what I said before: the recriminations about the Federal response are more about a) politics, and b) the 24 hour news cycle. When this is all over, mostly we’ll look back and see that the response was fast and timely and effective, and that if there’s blame there’s plenty to go around for everybody, but for the most part there’ll be the simple truth: a disaster we knew for decades could happen came to pass, and efforts to blame one party, or to jump all over first responders for not responding fast enough to the biggest American disaster in a century just looks dumb. It’s not holding people accountable, it’s just crybaby backseat driver nonsense.

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