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Well, we all knew this was coming.  A New York Times editorial quite strongly suggests that income tax rates in our nation should now be raised as a result of Hurricane Katrina:

Congress and the president had better get the message: an extraordinary time is upon the nation. The annihilation in New Orleans is an irrefutable sign that the national tax-cut party is over. So is the idea that American voters cannot be required to accept sacrifice or inconvenience, no matter how great the crisis. This country is better than that.

Yep.  With higher fuel prices, along with what are sure to be higher heating and electricity bills this winter, what all those suffering from hurricane damages definitively need is higher federal income taxes.



With little fanfare, the Houston Chronicle reported that Vice President Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, had been awarded a contract to assist in post-Katrina cleanup efforts:

The Navy has hired Houston-based Halliburton Co. to restore electric power, repair roofs and remove debris at three naval facilities in Mississippi damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Halliburton subsidiary KBR will also perform damage assessments at other naval installations in New Orleans as soon as it is safe to do so.

Given the media’s fascination with this company, along with the ongoing insinuations that the war in Iraq has been a financial boon for Halliburton, one has to wonder how this announcement will be disseminated by a currently scandal-hungry press.



People sometimes call MRC HQ and tell us that a cable network has mysteriously dumped out of live coverage in a way that seems suspiciously political. My first impulse is to think that sometime daytime producer on their third coffee might have just glitched a bit. I saw a weird case of this jumping in and out of live coverage this morning at 10:40 AM Eastern time. At a Congressional Black Caucus event, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.


Our friends over at the AP who never tire of using any excuse to Bush-bash are at it again in style.



Jaws dropped across America in the middle of NBC's Concert for Hurricane Relief, hosted by Matt Lauer. In between musical numbers, stars would report on the damage and call for help. Comedian Michael Myers made a serious pitch. Then rapper Kanye West started rambling, clearly improvising, saying that black families are called looters, while white families are described as just looking for food. That must have put the NBC folks on the button, but West shortly after blurted out: "George Bush doesn't care about black people."



Today during CNN's "Situation Room," anchor Jack Cafferty suspected the Bush administration had turned the timing of the help sent to New Orleans into a political stunt.

CAFFERTY: Do you suppose, Wolf, that the arrival of the relief convoys and the political photo ops on the Gulf Coast happening at the very same time were a coincidence today?
BLITZER: Well, I'm sure our viewers have some thoughts on that as well.



CBS correspondent and wife of former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, Michelle Miller, took a swipe at Congress for the speed of its reaction to Hurricane Katrina:



The Associated Press posted an article by Barry Schweid detailing hurricane relief aid being sent by a number of other countries. In the process the writer just couldn't help taking a cheap shot at U.S. generosity, which has pumped billions of dollars in foreign aid to others in need.


In the days since Hurricane Katrina struck, there has been a lot of hand-wringing and finger-pointing at the Bush administration concerning budget cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers that might have shored up the levee system surrounding New Orleans/>/>.  The most recent such tirade comes fro



They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here is a picture I would like the Democratic Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, to see after he blasted President Bush for his slow response to the hurricane devestation. 

Just what was the mayor saving those buses for?  Maybe Election Day, 2006?  Then, it seems, Democrats have no problem moving black people around quickly and efficiently.



The Early Show on CBS treated FEMA Director Mike Brown and Governor Kathleen Blanco (D-LA) to tough questioning, although Brown was seared by co-host Hannah Storm while Harry Smith, reporting from New Orleans, only slightly singed the state's chief executive, and mostly on relief efforts underway now, not on what the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans could have done before the hurricane.

Below are the questions to Brown and Blanco respectively as I transcribed them.:



ABC's Terry Moran this afternoon put politics at the forefront in hurricane disaster coverage when, on a storm-ravaged Biloxi street, he confronted President Bush about how “one of the things you hear here is people saying 'there's a lot of resources being devoted to Iraq. Now this country needs them.' And they're frustrated about that. What do you say to the people who say there's too much money being spent on Iraq and it's time to bring it home?” ABC News led its 1:22pm EDT special with anchor Dan Harris insisting that spending on Iraq is “a common complaint -- what we're hearing from many people about the resources being spent in Iraq.”

Video: Real or Windows Media

Complete transcript follows. UPDATE: Friday's World News Tonight featured Moran's question.




From CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Thursday, September 1, 2005, covering the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: (audiotape on file, emphasis mine)

BLITZER: "You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold."



As depicted in a recent posting by NewsBusters own David Pierre, cable outlets like CNN have started to depict race as a "hindrance of choice" to the rescue efforts that are taking place on a massive scale in New Orleans/>/>.  Predictably, old media outlets like the New York Times have followed suit. 



No longer mincing words, a New York Times editorial puts the blame for the current post-Katrina disaster area in New Orleans squarely on the backs of the Bush administration and its diverted attention to the war in Iraq: