A few bits of new that drifted into my sphere of influence today about Katrina and its aftermath:
Hyatt for President! I'm not kidding. According to this (admittedly self serving) press release, Hyatt managed to evacuate its staff and guests from New Orleans with little trouble. In fact, Hyatt provided food and supplies from its Atlanta and Houston last Wednesday, while FEMA and Friends twiddled about. Hooray for the private sector!
Meanwhile, it was reported today that the USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship complete with six operating rooms and 600 hospital beds was deployed in the Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane and volunteered to help, but FEMA didn't make use of it.
Barbara Bush is a bitch. While visiting displaced folks in Houston, she told public radio:
Then she added: "What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality."I guess we know where Dubya gets his sensitivity (and penchant for smirking) from.
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."
But this guy is just an asshole. A New Orleans "religious" leaders are claiming that Katrina was God's way of punishing New Orleans for its sinful ways:
Shanks says the hurricane has wiped out much of the rampant sin common to the city.OK, let's think about this. First, the French Quarter, scene of much of what Shanks says is sinful, made it through Katrina and her aftermath largely untouched. Second, "Southern Decadence" did indeed take place, in some kind of truncated form, according to CNN. And, finally, how many godless folks made it out before the storm hit in the first place? So, it seems that, in Shanks's universe, God decided to send a message to a bunch of people who didn't listen by killing thousands of poor, stranded, innocent people. Nice God there, Shanks. You can keep Him.
The pastor explains that for years he has warned people that unless Christians in New Orleans took a strong stand against such things as local abortion clinics, the yearly Mardi Gras celebrations, and the annual event known as 'Southern Decadence' -- an annual six-day 'gay pride' event scheduled to be hosted by the city this week -- God's judgment would be felt.
'New Orleans now is abortion free. New Orleans now is Mardi Gras free. New Orleans now is free of Southern Decadence and the sodomites, the witchcraft workers, false religion -- it's free of all of those things now,' Shanks says. 'God simply, I believe, in His mercy purged all of that stuff out of there -- and now we're going to start over again.'
Oh yeah, as always, please give.