Terry Teachout and Our Girl in Chicago have broken away from the arts beat to compile links relating to Hurricane Katrina. The breaking-news site and readers' blog at the New Orleans Times-Picayune are heartbreaking beyond belief. No victims count more than any others, but two stories haunt me: this one, about two teen-aged brothers who reached out to their teacher, and this one, about the disappearance of "Fats" Domino. (Update: He's been found.) Meanwhile, George W. Bush is playing guitar, Condoleeza Rice is buying thousand-dollar shoes, and FEMA is being run by the former lawyer of the International Arabian Horse Association (where he was forced to resign!). Here are links to the United Negro College Fund and the American Red Cross, although the Department of Homeland Security is not allowing the Red Cross into New Orleans. They're taking care of everything beautifully on their own.
"We have been abandoned by our own country. Hurricane Katrina will go down in history as one of the worst storms ever to hit an American coast, but the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina will go down as one of the worst abandonments of Americans on American soil ever in U.S. history. I am personally asking our bipartisan congressional delegation here in Louisiana to immediately begin congressional hearings to find out just what happened here. Why did it happen? Who needs to be fired? And believe me, they need to be fired right away, because we still have weeks to go in this tragedy. We have months to go. We have years to go. And whoever is at the top of this totem pole, that totem pole needs to be chain-sawed off and we've got to start with some new leadership. It's not just Katrina that caused all these deaths in New Orleans here. Bureaucracy has committed murder here in the greater New Orleans area, and bureaucracy has to stand trial before Congress now....
"The guy who runs this building I'm in, emergency management, he's responsible for everything. His mother was trapped in St. Bernard nursing home and every day she called him and said, "Are you coming, son? Is somebody coming?" And he said, "Yeah, Mama, somebody's coming to get you. Somebody's coming to get you on Tuesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Wednesday. Somebody's coming to get you on Thursday. Somebody's coming to get you on Friday." And she drowned Friday night. She drowned Friday night...."
— Aaron Broussard, President of Jefferson Parish, New Orleans
"Out of the rubbles [sic] of Trent Lott's house — he's lost his entire house — there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."
— George W. Bush, President of the United States