A coalition of scientists, environmentalists and politicians on Tuesday told the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close — once and for all — a shipping channel that scientists say contributed to the devastating deluge of parts of eastern New Orleans, including the Lower 9th Ward, the home of Fats Domino.
The Corps is expected to release a report next Wednesday to outline what should be done with the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a channel built in the 1960s that has destroyed hundreds of square miles of wetlands. It was built as a shortcut to New Orleans and a way to kick start the development of reclaimed swampland east of New Orleans that wound up drowned by Hurricane Katrina.
The coalition also issued a report, which said in part, “The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, known locally as Mister Go, was a bad idea when constructed and has become a worse one every year.”
The document, unambiguously called “Mister Go Must Go,” was handed out to members of Congress, who will have a say on what direction the Corps takes.
It is indeed time for MRGO to go. Click Read More for the reasons.
Yesterday Athenae posted a video of the arrests at the Solidarity Sing Along. As a result of yesterday’s arrests a much larger crowd attended the sing along today and the arrests continued.
About a dozen officers would enter the rotunda led by one officer who would walk through the crowd and point to someone:
Other officers would then arrest that person.
The officers would lead the individuals out and to the basement where they were issued citations. After about 10-15 minutes the officers would return and more arrests would begin again.
The lead officer would walk through the crowd and after some time would point to someone and then they were cuffed and led out. I was in the balcony and found it quite creepy and chilling to witness this process of point and arrest as did those around me.
In a tense moment, a veteran was arrested who had been holding an American flag. While leading him out the flag fell to the ground. The veteran reacted by trying to go back to get it and the crowd gasped as officers stepped on the flag. Someone in the crowd picked it up.
Another arrest. The crowd would chant Shame, Shame, Shame as people were escorted out.
Officers followed by press and protesters as they lead one person out and towards the basement. They then formed a line to stop people from following. One man tries to talk with the police about what they were doing:
Officers then pulled back with press and protesters following behind:
Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, watched Thursday and said the arrests are only driving more to join in.
“They had 35 or 40 people singing peacefully and quietly and they come in and use their thug tactics and we end up with 500 people here,” said Cullen. “If they keep arresting people today there will be a thousand tomorrow. I don’t know when they’re going to get it.”
In the video shot on Jan. 18, 2011 – shortly before Walker’s controversial budget-repair bill was introduced and spawned mass protests – Hendricks asked the governor whether he could make Wisconsin a “completely red state, and work on these unions, and become a right-to-work” state.
“Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill,” Walker said. “The first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”
“Scott Walker has plunged our state into political turmoil with his ‘divide and conquer’ style of governing, and Wisconsin is tired of it. More alarming is how Walker says in public what he thinks the people want to hear, but then reveals his true colors to the conservative billionaires bankrolling his campaign. We cannot trust what Scott Walker says, and we can’t fix Wisconsin and stop our massive job loss if we keep Scott Walker as governor.”
BTW the documentary referenced in this is called “As Goes Janesville” which has not yet released. But you can see a 10 minute demo at the film’s website.From the demo it looks like it will be a good film.
Added: If you go read JSO copy of the transcript of the video it’s clear they knew they were being filmed. Hendricks introduces the documentarian, Brad Lichtenstein, to Walker and tells he is filming everything. Lichtenstein tells Walker he is doing a documentary and…
Here are some photos from the Unity rally along with some commentary.
John Nichols was one of the speakers and he is always great to listen to because he can get quite fiery.
I love the reaction of this young member of the audience to the fiery Nichols:
Senator Fred Risser, one of the WI 14 and the longest serving state legislator in our nation’s history, is beloved here.
Mahlon Mitchell, who was a Madison firefighter, is the current President of the Fire Fighter’s Association and now the Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, has been continually present since the early days of the protests and is also very well liked and respected here.
A photo from Tuesday night, after the election had been called for Walker. As a young man held a sign of support for Walker, two young women posted themselves by him in opposition. The expressions on their faces…
A new poll taken by pollster Celinda Lake — who is a Democrat but is well respected by polling professionals — has found that the battle between Scott Walker and challenger Tom Barrett is now deadlocked, at 49 percent each.
The poll — which will be released later today and was comissioned by the pro-labor Greater Wisconsin Committee’s political fund — also finds that independents are breaking towards Barrett, 49-44.
Walker thinks you won’t…
New ad: Behind the Recall: The Rise and Fall of Scott Walker
From a CNN report today on the Road Home program in Louisiana…
SUSAN ROESGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over: An empty lot is all
that’s left of Antoinette Page’s New Orleans home after hurricane
Katrina. But she’s still paying the mortgage on this invisible house
and getting deeper in debt. Insurance paid just $2,400 and Paige has
been waiting almost a year to get help from a Federally funded program
called the road home.
PAGE: This is unbelievable. I never
thought the day would come that this would happen to the citizens of
Louisiana and I know it’s just not me. A lot of people I’ve spoken to
are going through the same thing.
ROESGEN: She’s one of
nearly 140,000 people in Louisiana who have applied for road home
assistance and only 20,000 of those have actually gotten money. And the
private company hired by the state to run the program, ICF
International, which also runs several other programs, just gave its
top people big bonuses.ICFs chief financial officer Alan Stewart got a
bonus of $650,000. Chief operating officer John Wasson got a bonus of
$1 million. And ICF chairman Sudako Keshavek (ph) got $1.7 million
because ICF did pretty well last year. The company says those bonuses
have nothing to do with the success or failure of the road home
program. But, still, the fat paychecks are galling to people like
Antoinette Page who doesn’t have a dime to pay off the mortgage on her
empty lot. (emphasis mine)
ARLINGTON, Va. — The Army is late in delivering newer, lighter body armor to
In April, an official with Program Executive Officer Soldier (PEO Soldier)
said that soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan would begin to receive the Improved
Outer Tactical Vests that month.
“The Army will begin fielding the IOTV April 07 as directed by [Headquarters,
Department of the Army/ Army Central Command],” said Steven Pinter in an
e-mailed response to questions to Stars and Stripes last month.
But the Army has not yet awarded a contract for the new body armor, according
to PEO Soldier, the Army’s development center for advanced soldier equipment.
Officials at PEO Soldier declined to comment about why no contract has been
“It is not common Army practice to discuss pending contract awards in the
media,” an e-mailed response from PEO says. “As soon as contracts are in place,
PEO Soldier would be pleased to conduct an interview with Stars and Stripes.”
Asked if he could say why no such contract had been awarded, Lt. Gen. Stephen
Speakes, who handles Army resources issues said, “No, I can’t.”
Earlier this week AP reported on how the aging QuikScat satellite used for predicting the intensity and path of hurricanes could fail at any time. Bill Proenza, director of the National Hurricane Center has been outspoken on this but was warned by superiors to stop commenting on it…
On Friday, Proenza was given a 3-page letter
from the acting head of the Weather Service, Mary Glackin. Proenza’s
recent statements “may have caused some unnecessary confusion about
NOAA’s ability to accurately predict tropical storms,” Glackin wrote.
who visited Proenza’s office at the National Hurricane Center in Miami,
said that talking with other weather service managers would have given
Proenza “accurate factual data.”
Proenza said Friday that he did
not believe that his comments caused confusion and that he had properly
talked with his superiors. The letter is an attempt to quiet his
comments on the satellite, he said. He said another superior had
previously warned him to stop making comments about QuikScat.
“I’m not going to do anything different,” he said after getting the letter.(my emphasis)
Well CNN spent quite a bit of time today covering the suspicious packages in Boston. Then they learned it was a hoax which had CNN anchors Kyra Phillips and Mike Brooks calling for stiff consequences for those responsible. Little did they know they were hitting sooo close to home…
PHILLIPS:As Mike was saying, obviously, definitely a sick joke in light of 9/11
what, we saw happen there. And then you see this type of scare hit a
city. Of course, the media covering it and all the response.
I mean, this costs a lot of money, when you have all the various
entities of law enforcement and also the Homeland Security Department
getting involved, that’s a tremendous cost to the taxpayer.
PHILLIPS: Sick joke as our law enforcement analyst says.And it will be
interesting to see what happens to those that are going to be held
responsible.We’re going to take a quick break. We’ll be right back.
PHILLIPS: All right. We’re getting more information out of that
developing story out of Boston, Massachusetts.You know, we took a real
serious spin on this story, thinking that it might be a threat to the
city of Boston, Massachusetts, when a number of devices were found
throughout the city.
Now according to our correspondents
talking with their sources in the FBI and also the Department of
Homeland Security, it looks like that this is a hoax. It looks like
this could possibly just be a publicity stunt for a cartoon and an
BROOKS: Well, Don and Kyra, again, we always say that when something like this
happens, you know, it’s tough to put the genie back in the bottle. But
law enforcement officials are thinking that this is a sick hoax. And
that there is no threat to Boston or any other city right now.And
they’re going to try to find out who was responsible for this.
And I guarantee you, it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when they
find out who’s responsible for this.Those people will be looking at
possible serious jail time, because these kind of things are costly.
They could be very dangerous. And you know, you’re putting
professionals’ lives at risk, even when you’re doing a sick hoax such
PHILLIPS: I’ll tell you, whoever is behind it, they’re not going to be
laughing when law enforcement get their hands on them, Mike Brooks.(emphasis mine)
Turner Broadcasting, parent company of Cartoon Network, said the
devices, which consisted of magnetic, blinking lights, were part of a
promotion for the TV show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.”
“The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger,”
Turner said in a statement. It said the devices have been in place for
two to three weeks in 10 cities: Boston, New York, Los Angeles,
Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Ore., Austin, Texas, San Francisco
“We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger,” the company said.
This is from an email I received that I think is making the rounds but it’s Friday and it made me laugh so…
Excerpts from a Dog’s diary
8:00 am – Dog food! My favorite thing! 9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing! 9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing! 12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing! 1:00 pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing! 3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm – Milk bones! My favorite thing! 7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing! 8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing! 11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat’s Daily Diary :
Day 683 of my captivity: My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other
inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.
The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the floor.
Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless
body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a “good little
hunter” I am. The audacity!
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food.
I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of “allergies.” I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to
assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are
flunkies and snitches.
The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded!
The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe… for now…
Lieberman is threatening to leave the party again.Kos says this…
I WISH he’d bolt, but he won’t. He has more influence doing his
periodic threats. I wish Reid would simply strip him of his committee
assignments and bid him adieu.
I agree and especially regarding Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Hillary Clinton recently introduced legislation to “restore FEMA to an independent, Cabinet-level agency, with an
administrator who would report directly to the president and have
authority to take whatever action is necessary during emergencies.”
This is a much needed change yet Lieberman has said in response that “he “personally would do everything” he could to fight any legislative attempt to do so.”
Not only will Joe not admit it was a mistake to fold FEMA into DHS, he will actively fight Clinton’s effort to correct the mistake. Joe is no help to the Dems but more importantly he is no help to the American people. Kos explains the former and this comment, from an emergency manager left at the GovExec.com link cited above, explains the latter…
The US only risks more suffering because of the misplaced pride of 2
senators who refuse to admit their mistake of placing FEMA in DHS. It’s
baffling that people repeatedly fail to see how the one mistake that
resulted in the Katrina failure began with the dismantling of the
effective Federal emergency management support system James Lee Witt
built in the 90’s. The key to FEMA’s success during those years was
almost singular – the director had the president’s ear. Today, FEMA is
merely the stepchild of a security-focused agency, when it’s main
purpose is public safety. Please people, where do we think DHS’s
priorities lie? Take FEMA out of DHS – that way, FEMA can respond to
natural and technological disasters when they occur (and they will
occur), and effectively respond to terrorist attacks when DHS fails to
Todd J. Gillman of the Dallas Morning News has been reporting and blogging about his travels with Cheney in the Middle East. From his blog post on a meeting between Cheney and the Saudi king…
Several photo ops. Moving from tea to a meeting room, photogs from two countries were scurrying to round a corner and pass thru a doorway ahead of the two. The king paused and gestured for the photogs to pass.
Cheney, who has a reputation of disdain for the news media, quipped, “You’re too kind.”
First we see CNN’s David Mattingly being attacked from 2 camera angles by mean fish.
Then Fox News is shocked their producer was able to call and get a hostage on the phone in the midst of being held hostage (hmm maybe they picked up the phone thinking it was a hostage negotiator?)
Fox was so proud that their producer “was able to generate so much information” via her super duper producer power of “just reading into it” as well as being able to see through the phone as to what was “possibly” occurring.