It's easy to forget about Katrina and New Orleans, since it was almost six years ago. But actor/comic/filmmaker Harry Shearer has not forgotten. As a part-time resident of New Orleans he's lived it from the beginning.
Senators and other elected officials have joined the public outcry for cleaning up the waterway and restoring it to meet acceptable standards for public health and safety. But this is not just an icky sewer problem.
There are 118,000 fewer African-Americans in New Orleans than in the previous census. We know that approximately 100,000 of them were evacuated after Katrina, but we don't know where those people are now.
We have heard repeatedly from the carp team that the electric barrier erected by the Corps to shoo away the invaders, by shocking the water, is keeping the fish out. But evidence shows it doesn't really work.
Shearer spoke with me about his movie,The Big Uneasy, a look at how New Orleans flooded, and the anger stirred by media that came to his new hometown but overlooked the Army Corps' role in flooding it.
Now that the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has passed, it's a good time to once again share an important fact: a federal court decision has concluded that this tragedy was a caused by the negligence of the U.S. Army Corps.
The majority of Americans live in counties protected by levees, and the most important ones are built by the US Army Corps of Engineers, whose failure in Louisiana was presumably not an isolated event.
President Obama successfully persuaded BP to set aside $20 billion in an escrow fund. So how did the Republican leadership in Congress react? Well, Rep. Joe Barton expressed his shock and horror, calling the fund "a $20 billion shakedown."
We think it's laudable that the White House is rapidly conducting investigations into the root cause of the BP well failure. But the White House exhibited paralysis after the spectacular engineering failure that flooded 80% of New Orleans.