Big Easy to Big Empty: Post-Katrina Update
February 27, 2008, 5:41 am
Filed under: community, corporate corruption, katrina, Miscellaneous, New Orleans, news, politics
Video: Big Easy to Big Empty: What Really Happened to New Orleans? (Greg Palast on BrassCheckTV)
Study claims FEMA ignored toxic trailer findings (AP via Raw Story 1/28/08)
“The Federal Emergency Management Agency manipulated scientific research in order to play down the danger posed by formaldehyde in trailers issued to hurricane victims, according to an investigation by congressional Democrats released Monday.”
Most of $4.5 Billion in Katrina recovery aid unspent (USA Today 1/11/08)
$289 Million New Orleans Riverfront Plan Gets Green Light (Business Week 1/16/08)
UN Official: US neglects Katrina survivors (AP/Yahoo 1/17/08)
Oil Canals Worsened Katrina (AP/Yahoo 1/21/08)
$600 Million in Katrina aid goes to Mississippi port (AP/Houston Chronicle 1/25/08)
25 employee agency to handle Katrina housing (Houston Chronicle 2/6/08)
“A small, Houston-based agency with 25 employees has been chosen to administer housing assistance for about 11,000 families around the country who were displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”
“Katrina victims swamp Corps with trillions in claims” (USA Today 1/7/08)
What an odd choice for a headline. First, the current claims total $34,000,000,000,000,000 – that’s 34 quadrillion dollars. To attempt to put it in perspective, the annual GDP of the US is $12,000,000,000,000 or 12 trillion. Next, it makes the Katrina survivors the active subject – they are the aggresor against the Army Corps of Engineers. A more appropriate headline might be ‘Katrina damages may top 16 digits’. The article makes sure to point out possible frivolous claims, like one New Orleans resident whose claim is for over $6 trillion, another for $3 quadrillion, almost all personal injury. We don’t know the circumstances of these cases. However, only 489,000 claims have been filed – hundreds of thousands more were affected. Hundreds of thousands simply uprooted and relocated, sometimes across the country. Meanwhile, $3.5 Billion in approved aid is still unspent, over two years later!  
Katrina Lawsuit Against Corp of Engineers Thrown Out (AP/Google 1/30/08)
“Plaintiffs lawyer Joseph Bruno said. “It’s an outrage. Read the opinion: The judge reads through all the negligence by the Corps, but says he had to rule the way he had to.”… The ruling relies on the Flood Control Act of 1928, which made the federal government immune when flood control projects like levees break.”

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