Kerry: U.S. Must Address “Real Test” Posed by Hurricane Katrina

John Kerry delivered keynote addresses today at three Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) brain trust sessions on health care, education and veterans. Washington, D.C. – This morning at the Congressional Black Caucus’ 35th annual legislative conference, Senator John Kerry talked about the “real test” posed by Hurricane Katrina and the need for America to move forward – particularly in the areas of health care and education. “This is the real test of Katrina: Will we be satisfied to only do the immediate: care for the victims and rebuild the city? Or will we be inspired to tackle the incompetence that left us so unprepared, and the societal injustice that left so many of the least fortunate waiting and praying on those … Continue reading

The Warped Priorities of the Bush Administration: Energy Group Plans to Build Nuclear Plants in Gulf States

The NY Times is reporting this morning that “a consortium of eight companies said on Thursday that it would spend about $100 million to prepare applications to build two nuclear reactors, in Mississippi and Alabama, a step that seems to move the industry closer to its first new reactor order since the 1970’s.” Maybe it’s just me, but aren’t there more important things to think about building in the Gulf States right now? Considering that this announcement comes with the promise of Government funding, the question arises yet again, of the priorities of this administration. The announcement was made by NuStart Energy, a consortium of companies that has substantial government financing. The consortium selected a site in Claiborne County, Miss., … Continue reading

Rita Evacuation: "This Is The Worst Planning I've Ever Seen"

“This is the worst planning I’ve ever seen,” said Judie Anderson, who covered just 45 miles in 12 hours after setting out from her home in the Houston suburb of LaPorte. “They say we’ve learned a lot from Hurricane Katrina. Well, you couldn’t prove it by me.” In Galveston: “Residents walked, biked and drove across a bridge linking Galveston to the Texas mainland, abandoning the town where between 8,000 and 12,000 people were killed in a 1900 hurricane, the deadliest natural disaster ever in the United States.” “The Red Cross has never dealt with anything like this before,” said Sam Hilbun of New Orleans, now volunteering for the Red Cross in Baton Rouge. “The system could be better,” he continued, … Continue reading

1969: Relevant and Irrelevant Lessons From a Turbulent Time

Ah Fall 1969: A time of graduation and marriage for many young folk, The Beatles release “Abbey Rd,” (including “Come Together” and “Something”) the Stones release “Let it Bleed with (with “Gimme Shelter” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”) and the Amazin'(or in my opinion just plain lucky) Mets win the World Series over the unluckly Baltimore Orioles. Also for the first time polls indicated more Americans oppose the Vietnam War than support it. Of course much has changed since then: The music bands are gone (but the ageless Rolling Stones are still here), the Orioles of 1969 just had bad luck, now their just bad (to my great disappointment). But one similarity and one difference are connected: … Continue reading

Abramoff Claimed Ties to Rove

The Abramoff plot thickens… and the cast grows to include Karl Rove… Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff bragged two years ago that he was in contact with White House political aide Karl Rove on behalf of a large, Bermuda-based corporation that wanted to avoid incurring some taxes and continue receiving federal contracts, according to a written statement by President Bush’s nominee to be deputy attorney general.

British Scientist Criticizes U.S. ‘Climate Loonies’

You’ve got to love those Brits for their ability to be so forthright and out-spoken… A leading British scientist said on Friday that the growing ferocity of hurricanes hitting the United States was very probably caused by global warming and criticized “climate loonies in the States.” Sir John Lawton, chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution that advises the government, made what the Independent newspaper said was a thinly disguised attack on the stance of the Bush administration.

Waxman: EPA Is Using Katrina to Undermine the Clean Air Act

Henry Waxman announced today: The EPA has drafted legislation that would allow the agency to waive any provision of the Clean Air Act, nationwide – including limits on toxic emissions and the health-based air quality standards – without any notice or public comment whenever the Administrator chooses to declare an emergency. — Letter to EPA Administrator Johnson (PDF) — Letter to EPA Administrator Johnson (Microsoft Word) — Draft EPA Proposal